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PLANS for a popular Northumberland wedding venue to transform a derelict gin gang on its site have been given the green light and forms the first stage of a 12-month £100,000 investment plan.

Northside Farm in Horsley is devoting £50,000 to restore and renovate the 19th century circular building into a unique ceremony room before releasing another self-funded £50,000 earmarked to secure additional luxury accommodation on its glamping site which currently boasts ten timber wigwams with amenities.

Having always been a working farm, the original gin gang was used to hold a small threshing machine which was connected to the gin gang via wooden gears, drive shafts and drive belt powered by horses which walked round and around inside.

The 100 capacity licensed ceremony gin gang will be the only one of its kind in Northumberland and is set to open next spring.

Established in 2012 as a luxury glamping site, Northside Farm has enjoyed steady success as a wedding destination venue since completing the conversion of its 150-year-old barn in 2016 into a luxurious and rustic space to complement the accommodation and facilities.

With its quirky bar area adjoining to the floor-to-ceiling glass fronted barn with flagstone floor and exposed beams, the venue holds a capacity of up to 200 seated guests opening up into a courtyard to provide extra capacity for evening guests, and the gin gang will be in keeping with the pastoral style of Northside Farm.

Husband and wife owners Olivia and Ralph Lockey, who were the first couple to marry in the restored barn, believe the newly converted ceremony room will be a solid investment for further growth.

“We have always prided ourselves in being able to give our brides and grooms something a little more unique for their wedding and there is nothing else like our circular gin gang being used as a dedicated, licensed ceremony room in Northumberland,” she Olivia.

“The gin gang is situated right next to the barn so not only will it add the wow-factor, it also frees up the barn a little more so our couples can step straight into their reception area.

“Weddings that are booked in before the gin gang is ready will not be disrupted by any of the works and we are working around the clock to ensure it is completed to our high standards by spring 2019.”

Situated just ten miles west of Newcastle city centre in the heart of the Northumberland countryside the site is wheelchair friendly, has ample parking, room for additional guests to pitch their tents and vans and welcomes children and pets. As well as weddings, the estate also caters for christenings, events and parties.

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