Sunderland housing and construction group Gentoo has won an £8m contract to build a luxury housing complex in Northumberland.
The firm will start work on the development at Lucker Hall, in North Northumberland, in September after winning the contract from the Holiday Property Board (HPB).
HPB, a life assurance bond with over 40,000 members, currently has 1,371 villas, cottages and apartments in 30 locations around the UK and Europe.
The group targeted Northumberland for its next development after a vote by members. It says the complex will create around 12 jobs and put up to £780,000 a year into the local economy.
Lucker Hall, which used to be part of the Duke of Northumberland’s estates, has been derelict for a number of years after a fire in the 1980s.
The Gentoo contract will see part of the Hall demolished to make way for 40 self-catering holiday apartments plus facilities that will include a village shop, indoor pool, fitness suites and snooker room.
Allan Thompson, managing director at Gentoo Construction said: “This is a really exciting project for us, adding to our portfolio of work in the Northumberland area and embarking on a new relationship with the Holiday Property Board.
“It’s a fantastic development that will really transform the area and have a positive impact on the community in Belford in terms of the future tourism business it will bring as well as local supply chain opportunities. We can’t wait to get started.”
Geoffrey Baber, HPB Chairman said: “Our bondholders have long been asking for a site in the beautiful Northumberland countryside. With the help of Gentoo Construction, Lucker Hall will be welcoming its first Bondholders in early 2016.
“This will boost the local economy in two ways. We anticipate that Lucker Hall will employ some 12 members of staff either full or part time. Also, Bondholders will collectively spend approximately £750,000 per annum in the local shops, pubs and restaurants.”
The scheme, which was designed by JMP architects in Lancaster, is set to open in April 2016. It was given planning permission earlier this year
The first reference to a Hall at Lucker dates to 1316 when, in the middle of a period of border warfare, Simon de Lucker built a new hall within his manor. The Hall was totally rebuilt in 1815 and soon after became a “highly respected boarding school” and then a gentleman’s residence.
In 1983 the Hall suffered a catastrophic fire and it has not been occupied since then.