Following an extensive refurbishment programme to reinvent the Grade II listed building, Hexham House has reopened as a beautiful new wedding venue.
Hexham House is owned by Northumberland County Council and underwent the £1.5m redevelopment to become a high quality wedding complex. This work included the creation of a new register office, two wedding ceremony rooms and seven luxury self-catering holiday apartments complete with a bridal suite.
The building was previously occupied by Tynedale District Council but after the authority was abolished in 2009 it has not been in regular use. Ainsworth Spark Associates were appointed as lead architects for the project with Compass Developments acting as main contractor. Construction on the project began in November 2016 and was completed in July 2017.
Hexham House was officially reopened on Friday 6th October. The opening honours were performed by Andrew Dent MVO, the Deputy Registrar General of England and Wales, who travelled up to the north east especially for the ceremony. Significant parties involved in the restoration project were also in attendance and were given a tour of the new building. The first wedding at the venue, however, took place at the beginning of September and was a great success.
Northumberland County Councillor, Nick Oliver, cabinet member for corporate services said:
“The historic building has been sympathetically restored and it is fantastic to see it brought back to life with such a great new purpose. With the wedding industry bringing up to £30m into the county’s each year the venue is expected to provide a big boost to the local economy. This is particularly good news for businesses in the Tyne Valley providing accommodation, wedding services or for those that support visitors in some way.”
Andrew Dent said:
“I know people come from all over the world to attend weddings in Northumberland. It’s an industry that has helped put this county on the map – and one which shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Hexham House is a beautiful venue and I am sure it will be a real asset to the town.”
Hexham House was originally built in 1723 to the north of Hexham Abbey grounds. The house has long been one of the standout pieces of architecture in the market town and is surrounded by perimeter walkways and picturesque paths. In 1928 the building was extended on both sides and for much of the 20th century was a major hub of council activity.
The two ceremony rooms, one of which holds up to 65 guests, now sit alongside a waiting area and an office used by Hexham’s two registrars. The seven luxury self-catering apartments include high quality and luxurious fixtures and furnishings. While Hexham House has no reception facilities on site there are a number of local operations nearby including the stunning Hexham Abbey.
Northumberland is currently experiencing a wedding boom with a record number of couples booking to tie the knot in the county. Last year the Northumberland registrars officiated over 1700 marriages and so far this year a further 1980 marriages have been booked.
Compass Developments (NE) Ltd
Based in Cramlington, Compass Developments (NE) Ltd are a principal building contractor operating across the construction industry. Formed in 2009 by Managing Director Graham Anderson, Compass Developments (NE) Ltd work on a range of projects, from domestic house builds, commercial new builds & refurbishment schemes, to restoration works on graded Listed buildings.
Across the portfolio, projects include various new commercial build schemes for schools & sports facilities, school extensions & refurbishments and heritage works to graded Listed buildings, new housing developments, university refurbishments and more. Compass Developments (NE) Ltd’s current client base includes Newcastle Hospital Trust, Northumberland County Council, Gateshead Council, North Tyneside Council, Newcastle University and Northumbria University, amongst others.
Compass Developments (NE) Ltd has a facilities management department who carry out all Planned Preventive Maintenance for Karbon Homes, including sheltered accommodation for over 55 years old. The company also provides maintenance services for live offices & staff accommodation for Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, in addition to a 24/7, 365-day-a-year call out service.
Most recently, Compass Developments (NE) Ltd was appointed as the main contractor on Hexham House. Compass Developments (NE) Ltd’s management team organised and led a team of directly employed staff and specialist sub-contractors, to deliver the project within the client’s budget & programme.
Michael Crane, Business and Facilities Manager for Compass Developments (NE) Ltd, said:
“Compass Developments (NE) Ltd saw this project as an opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in what was a bespoke project. Dealing with an old, rundown Heritage building was a challenge, but one which has helped promote our business and services to greater heights and recognition within the construction industry.”
“At Compass Developments (NE) Ltd, we pride ourselves on our construction expertise; from our management, the quality of our workmanship and our ability to communicate with clients, to our project teams who ensure a growing recognition within the industry which in turn leads to repeat opportunities and business.”