Hexham
Esh Construction has begun work on the transformation of a former nuclear bunker on the outskirts of Hexham into a new retail and hotel destination.
Jane Imrie

60 jobs to be created as work begins on £10m Northumberland hospitality and retail scheme

A raft of new jobs are set to be created as work starts on a new multi-million pound hospitality and retail scheme in Northumberland.

Esh Construction has begun work on the transformation of a former nuclear bunker on the outskirts of Hexham into a new retail and hotel destination.

Led by Newcastle-based Union Property Development Ltd, the project - which is set to create around 60 new jobs - will deliver a 69-room Travelodge, a Lidl food store and a 250-space car park on the vacant 5.5-acre site.

The former nuclear bunker site was purchased in October 2018 by Union Property. Plans for the new retail units were given the green light by Northumberland County Council in late 2019 and include outline consent for two further retail units.

Gary Dobson, divisional director at Esh Construction, commented: “Esh is delighted to be working with Union Property to deliver the transformation of this site which has been unoccupied for decades.

“The development of vacant sites like Hexham Bunker – which will boost visitor spending and create new jobs – is pivotal in the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

“We’re proud to be playing our part as a local contractor through the responsible procurement of local subcontractors and supply for this development.”

Peter Carruthers, consultant project director at Union Property, added: “Despite the economic uncertainty brought about by Covid-19, we are as committed as ever to delivering our development pipeline and are delighted to have now commenced work on site.

“We have worked closely with a variety of local stakeholders to design a scheme which will reflect the character of Hexham. This represents a very significant economic investment in the town and will bring a long-term vacant site back into use.”

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