B&B owner insists new Premier Inn is a welcome addition

A Berwick B&B owner has welcomed the construction of a new 60-bedroom Premier Inn in the town.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 22 April, 2019, 10:40
Stephen Scott, Berwick Chamber of Trade

Some B&B owners have voiced concern at the impact of the £5million development on their businesses.

However, Stephen Scott, who is also secretary of Berwick Chamber of Trade, said: “I believe it’s a huge opportunity. I believe there’s a huge shortage of accommodation in Berwick. If we are to grow our tourist economy we need to have accommodation for our visitors.

Plans for a new Premier Inn to be built in Sandgate on the former Playhouse site

“The Premier Inn is a fantastic opportunity for filling the shops, bars and restaurants in Berwick, so will add an awful lot of value to the local economy. I believe it’s a huge opportunity and not a threat.”

Speaking at Berwick Tourism Conference, he said there were opportunities to be grasped if the town worked together, although there were challenges such as car parking, the appearance of the town centre and barriers caused by the border.

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He said: “I think there are issues to resolve regarding the political border between England and Scotland. People come to Berwick and want to see it but also visit the wider region and that includes the Scottish Borders as well as north Northumberland.

“We need to do something to ensure the Scottish tourist board work with Northumberland Tourism more effectively than they do today. That will create a win-win for both.

“If we effectively market the breadth and depth of attractions we have in Berwick who wouldn’t want to come?”

He called for people to work with and contribute to the Welcome Visitor project team to make it happen.

“We need to engage with this project and the branding exercise because when that finishes it’s the people and businesses of the town which have to implement it and sell Berwick,” he said. “Let’s work collaboratively together to grow the tourism economy in Berwick. Let’s make Berwick a place where people want to visit.”