Plenty of glasses were raised last weekend as the work to transform a former brewery in Alnwick has finally come to fruition.
It has been a long and painful journey, but one that has eventually found the ideal companion to take it over the final leg, some 13 years after the plans were first announced.
Ascent Homes, Northumberland’s newest housebuilder, has launched the luxury apartment development at The Maltings, a multimillion-pound residential development on Dispensary Street in historic buildings, which used to house Alnwick Brewery and Malthouse.
It has been a rocky ride for the site, with the credit crunch of 2008 stalling the initial plans by County Life Homes the following year.
But Ascent Homes took over the project in spring last year and has painstakingly restored the rooms to provide 37 thoughtfully refurbished and innovatively designed one and two-bedroom apartments and penthouses in three blocks – The Kiln, The Limes and Bolam’s Mill.
The Gazette was given an early peak inside last week.
Retaining their striking original features, The Maltings blends the old with the new. True to the structures required in a 19th-century brewery, the thick walls give the apartments a feel of fortress as well as home.
Each bespoke apartment combines light, airy and open-plan living spaces with arched windows and steel beams, as well as high-quality fitted kitchens and integrated contemporary bathrooms which feature a wide choice of ceiling to floor tiling. Due to the unique nature of the original buildings, each of the apartments is bespoke, offering a variety of layouts and designs, some featuring balconies and patios and several boasting views over Alnwick Castle and the rolling Northumberland countryside, while others look out over Alnwick town centre.
Externally, there are double-glazed, high-soundproof and energy-efficient windows, allocated parking spaces and a high standard of landscaped areas. There are still plans for a glass-covered atrium between the buildings, which was in the original scheme.
Claire Scott, head of sales and marketing for Ascent Homes, is confident there will be strong demand for these highly individual apartments located within one of England’s most sought-after places to live. She said: “There has been a great deal of interest in this group of buildings which had remained empty for so long before we began construction work and we are excited for the public to see their stunning transformation.
“Not only is the location of this development superb, close to a good range of schools, retail and leisure facilities, the site is secure, offering a video entry system for each apartment with the site overall benefiting from extensive security lighting.
“In fact, every detail has been carefully considered to marry the history and beauty of Alnwick and the surrounding area with a superb twist on contemporary living where all the amenities you could possibly want from a town centre, the countryside or the coast, are right on the doorstep.”