Northumberland's The Running Fox plans expansion to help it diversify as covid bites

It’s not been a good year for Northumberland’s hospitality sector, but one renowned business continues to make efforts to expand and diversify its offer.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 11:36 am
Kris Blackburn at The Running Fox in Shilbottle. Picture by Jane Coltman

The Running Fox opened at its venue in Felton back in 2011, before it added a second shop in Longframlington in 2017, then a third in Shilbottle in 2019.

Now, a planning application has been lodged with Northumberland County Council for its premises in Shilbottle at the Farriers Arms pub.

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A design statement notes: ‘The Running Fox has quickly established an enviable reputation for serving rustic yet excellent quality food and despite challenging market conditions, they are seeking to expand and diversify on the Shilbottle site.’

The bid seeks permission to change the use of the former owner’s accommodation above the pub into two en-suite bed and breakfast letting rooms for guests plus another en-suite room for staff.

The proposal also includes the conversion of the self-contained flat above the coffee shop into a function room that can be hired for parties and special occasions.

There would be no changes to the outside of the building, the opening hours or the access and parking arrangements, but there would be refurbishment and alterations internally.

The design statement concludes: ‘The proposed change of use and alterations will allow a successful business to diversify during these challenging times.

‘The change of use of the self-contained flat to a function room is a natural extension of the use of the building as a café to cater for small groups for special occasions.

‘The proposed letting rooms will encourage people to stay in the area which is a benefit not only to The Running Fox, but also to the wider business community given the importance of tourism to the area.

‘The proposed changes of use are not detrimental to the amenity of the nearby dwellings and the proposed alterations are not detrimental to the appearance of the building.’

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