July 11, 2016

Youngmans Project

The Trust is committed to the regeneration of the town and to making Berwick a better place to live and work.

A project we we undertyook was the Former Youngmans Building on Hide Hill

Regrettably the owner of the site elected in June 2015 to not sell us the building despite us being prepared to meet his asking price and us having been in discussion with his agent for more than a year. Our work on the site has thus effectively ended.

Our proposal retained most of the existing structure and would have seen 6 units of affordable housing (one and two bed flats) developed above a restaurant. The front of the building would have been developed as an open air public square with access to the restaurant to support events and outdoor dining. We intended to develop and operate a restaurant which would have created a number of full time jobs and also a number of apprenticeships which, with the support of a regional training provider, would have set young people on the path to careers in the hospitality industry.

Following discussion with our architects and the owner’s agent we have decided to make available the work we commissioned on the site and the owner is now pursuing a revised plan with a smaller number of flats above the same restaurant / public square proposal confirmed in 2017 to be occupied from September as Limencello who will be relocating from their former site within the Kings Arms Hotel.

While we are hugely disappointed to not be able to pursue our project we take great satisfaction from having stimulated action on a site that has been dormant for ten years. We believe the town will benefit hugely from the building being repaired and return to active use and while certainly not the outcome we hoped for do see the project as ultimately having been successful. A derelict site that acted as a depressant on the town is being returned to active use because of our intervention.