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Coquetdale Centre, Rothbury - The future

Coquetdale Centre, Rothbury - The future

Fri 1st March 2013

Northumberland National Park Authority and Shepherds Walks have joined forces to keep visitor information available for the new season at the Coquetdale Centre in Rothbury. 

The agreement was reached with Jon Monks, owner of the walking guide company, to base his businesses, Shepherds Walks and Capricorn Mohair Socks, in the former National Park Visitor Centre and TiC, and to run a National Park-branded information service as part of his operation. 

The legal and other practical details are now being finalised with the intention of Shepherds Walks opening in the Coquetdale Centre as soon as possible for the coming season. 

The news has been warmly welcomed by the business community of Rothbury and Coquetdale and members of the National Park Authority, who recognise the importance of visitor information to the local economy.

Discussions have been ongoing since 2011 when the Authority was obliged to announce the closure of the visitor centre following extensive cuts to its budget.  The organisation was determined to find a solution to mitigate the demise of the centre and Shepherds Walks were chosen.

Tony Gates, Chief Executive of Northumberland National Park Authority, said:

“We are delighted to announce a partnership that will safeguard visitor information in the North of the National Park, and particularly in Coquetdale.   Shepherds Walks is an excellent business with a wide knowledge of the National Park and a practical interest in its development.  We look forward to formalising our relationship with Jon Monks and of establishing a new, business-led model for visitor information provision for the future.”

Jon Monks expressed his excitement at the start of the new venture and said:

“I am delighted to be working with Northumberland National Park and to be basing Shepherds Walks at the Coquetdale Centre, Rothbury. As a local to Rothbury I really believe we have much to bring to the village and the wider area.”
The re-opened centre will not only be the new home for Shepherds Walks but will be a focal point for visitors, helping them with their stay in Northumberland National Park with not only walking but all the other activities that are available. As Shepherds Walks is the largest walking provider in the region, with over 3000 participants attending their events, walks and courses, there is considerable crossover with what people want when they visit the region.

The Coquetdale centre was one of two visitor centres that the National Park Authority was forced to close last autumn, the other is at Ingram in the Breamish Valley. Tony Gates  explained that the door was not closed for expressions of interest for a partnership at the Ingram Centre and confirmed that there had been renewed interest in the location in the last few days from a local business.

Posted By: Neil Hutchinson | Mon 4th March 2013

This is great news for Rothbury, its businesses and, of course, visitors to the area.

Posted By: Graeme Urwin | Fri 8th March 2013

Great news!Sensible and a valuable resource for Rothbury visitors!Best of luck Shepards Walks.

Posted By: Simon Harper | Fri 19th April 2013

At last some positive news for Rothbury. Well done Shepherds Walks!

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