Restaurant poised for move to revamped site

A tenant has been found for the redeveloped former Youngman's site on Hide Hill in Berwick.

Friday, 24th March 2017, 8:02 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:44 am
Berwick Civic Society chairman Zoreen Hill presents the plaque to Alan Swan, the architect responsible for the development of 55 Hide Hill in Berwick. Picture by Jane Coltman

Limoncello, the restaurant currently based in the nearby King’s Arms Hotel, is hoping to move into the property this summer.

The news was revealed by architect Alan Swan when he was presented with Berwick Civic Society’s 2016 plaque last Thursday on behalf of developer Park Portfolio.

Mr Swan, of Bain Swan Architects, said: “Andrew Watson (Park Portfolio) will be delighted to receive this award.

“There is good news to share in that a new tenant has taken the ground floor of the property which will enable it to move on to the next phase of its development as a restaurant with an outdoor dining area in the courtyard.”

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The Civic Society plaque is awarded to a building or development, in the town, which the members deem to be worthy of special commendation.

Chairman Zoreen Hill said: “It has made such a difference to Hide Hill and is a worthy winner of the award.”

The former hardware store, which had been vacant since 2001, was regarded as one of the biggest eyesores in the town prior to its refurbishment.

Park Portfolio received planning permission to demolish and redevelop the property to create a restaurant and 20 flats in 2008, but the scheme was overtaken by the recession.

Mr Swan said: “It really was a long way back from the state it was in. The pigeon muck was three inches thick when we went in.

“It’s been wonderful to have been involved in this. It’s not often you get a chance to return a bit of public space to the public realm which is what we’ve managed with the courtyard.

“It wouldn’t have happened without the community trust having got involved though so they deserve some credit.”

Berwick Community Trust had drawn up its own plans to transform the property into a training restaurant with flats only for the Nottingham-based developer to withdraw the property from sale in 2015 to pursue its own similar scheme.

Julie Kennedy, the trust’s project manager, said: “We are just really pleased that our idea has come to fruition, even though it wasn’t us that did it in the end. Alan has done a brilliant job with it and I think it’s great for the town. Our aim when we set out was to remove the eyesore and that has been achieved.”

The four two-bedroom flats have all been sold.

Giles Charlton of Retties said: “There was a lot of interest from a mixture of first-time buyers to those looking for a holiday home.

“The Berwick housing market has really picked up in the last couple of months. There is a shortage of residential property so when an excellent development like this comes along there is a lot of interest.”

Award runners-up were: The Bankhill Development; 34/36 Ravensdowne (formerly the Ravensholme Hotel ;the restoration work on the Anchorage, 35 Woolmarket and 19-21 Hide Hill (Caesar’s Palace redevelopment).

Previous winners of the plaque have included Tweedmouth Watchtower, Granary Gallery, Short’s Mill and Bridge End, the public housing refurbishment, Spittal Prom, Freeman’s Court and Tower Pottery.