Old Berwick Advertiser building in Marygate set to be turned into dental surgery

Berwick is set to get a much-needed new dental surgery if plans to convert an old newspaper office get the go-ahead.
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Tweedmouth Dental Clinic wants to move into 92 Marygate, and planning officers have recommended the application be approved when it is discussed by councillors on Thursday.

The clinic is currently located in Shielfield Terrace in Tweedmouth, but only has two surgeries. If it was allowed to move, its capacity would double.

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In a note to patients on its website, the dental practice explains why it wants to relocate. It says: “The reason we are planning this move is that we have out-grown our existing site, which has only two dental surgeries,

The former Berwick Advertiser building in Marygate is set to be turned into a dental surgeryThe former Berwick Advertiser building in Marygate is set to be turned into a dental surgery
The former Berwick Advertiser building in Marygate is set to be turned into a dental surgery

to a new larger site which can have four. This will allow us to recruit dentists more easily and also give us more space to deliver high-quality NHS dentistry.

"You will receive the same quality of care by the same dentists and members of staff, only at a much better location equipped with higher quality equipment and facilities.”

Berwick is in dire need of new dental services, following the closure of two surgeries in recent months.

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{my}dentist in Castlegate shut on September 30, with “difficulties experienced in recruiting dentists to the area” given as the reason.

And the Burgess and Hyder Dental Group (the dental arches) in Bridge Street closed its doors on January 31.

In response to the shortage, NHS England has produced an ‘Access to NHS dental services (Berwick)’ briefing to patients.

It says that plans to secure a new long-term provider are being urgently progressed, but the procedures that need to be followed mean it will not be in place until April 2024.

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As part of the strategy, Berwick has been ‘identified as a priority area for a recently launched initiative, aimed at supporting practices to attract dentists to work in the area by offering a financial incentive payment’.

If the surgery does relocate to the town centre, it will be good news for traders as Berwick has recently lost two major retailers – Home Bargains and M&Co.

This point has not been missed by Tweedmouth Dental Clinic, which adds: “We also think it [relocation] will help to increase pedestrian footfall to Berwick town centre, at a time when the retail sector is under pressure.”

However, not everyone is happy with the application – Berwick Civic Society has formally objected.

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A summary of its reasons presented to councillors reads: “The application significantly fails to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. The documents and Heritage Statement do not provide in detail anything like the necessary information of any proper assessment of the impact of the changes on the building and conservation area.”

Building conservation experts have also said they do not want the building to have upvc window frames and standard rooflights. Instead, they say timber frames and conservation design rooflights should be used.