Work has started to restore and repair the historic but dilapidated Cowe buildings in Berwick.
The Grade II listed buildings, located on Bridge St, Love Lane and West St, are an important part of Berwick’s architectural, historic, cultural and commercial heritage.
The properties, owned for generations by the Cowe family, include the original Berwick Cockle Shop as well as the premises of the wholesale business, which both closed in 2010.
Through the Berwick Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) Arch will carry out essential repairs to the Love Lane building (Green) and comprehensive repair and restoration to Bridge Street and West Street (Blue), providing a ground floor space suitable for a shop or café / restaurant and four 2-bed apartments both for private rent from Arch.
These works will be funded by Northumberland County Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arch as part of the Berwick Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).
Work has commenced this month by local contractors DP Builders from Amble and will take around one year to complete.
Councillor Dave Ledger, Arch Chair and Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “The Cowe properties are an important part of Berwick’s history and we would like to see these wonderful buildings back in use and contributing to the regeneration of the town’s economy.
“There has been a real revival in the fortunes of Bridge Street in the past couple of years, and we see the restoration and reuse of the Cowe buildings as completing the picture.”
Councillor Scott Dickinson, Business Chair of Northumberland County Council added: “The tradition of Berwick and its buildings is important and where the council and others can assist to keep, restore or preserve we should.
“Places like these often become attractions of their own which can only support and encourage people to live and visit Berwick, create job opportunities for local people and bring all round benefit to the town. This is an exciting opportunity for Berwick.”