The Glendale Gateway Trust has successfully purchased the former Barclays Bank building on Wooler High Street with the co-operation of Barclays themselves.
Both parties were committed to retaining the building for the community, and to avoid land banking by an investor.
The building is a fine grade II listed building dating back to 1863 and one of the most impressive on Wooler High Street.
Tom Johnston, Trust chief executive, said: “After consultation with planners we will convert the two upper floors to affordable housing and find a use for the ground floor which accords with the thinking of residents and local businesses and ultimately adds value to the High Street offer.
“Purchase and development costs are in the region of £320,000 and we have already successfully raised £150,000 towards this sum.
“Following the success of the Community Bond Scheme launched in 2014 which raised £128,000 towards the creation of nine new affordable homes, we are seeking similar support to ensure this building is brought back into use and contributes to the health and vibrancy of Wooler town centre.
“We are therefore inviting residents, members and supporters to invest in Glendale Community Bonds.”
One Glendale Community Bond is worth £1,000, there is no limit to the number of bonds an individual can buy and the Trust promises to pay back bond holders at any time after three years from the date of issue.
Mr Johnson explained: “Over the three year period the rental income from the new homes will be retained and a flexible, commercial loan facility, secured on Trust property, set up to repay any bonds redeemed after the three year period. This will significantly reduce the need for commercial borrowing.”
Trust chairman Patrick Sheard added: “Central to the success of our local economy is an attractive and vibrant High Street in Wooler. If you can help us by taking out a Community Bond, you will be making a very real vote of confidence in the future of our High Street - and all who work, live and shop here.”
For more information visit www.wooler.org.uk