Longtown named as ecotourism, cultural and heritage hub for Cumbria

An artists impression of the planned site in Cumbria. Credit: 32 West

A new ecotourism, cultural and heritage hub will be created in Longtown after plans were given the green light.

The tourist hub is expected to create up to 91 direct full-time jobs and a further 50 jobs as part of the supply chain and wider economy.

The proposals, approved by Cumberland Council's planning committee, aim to diversify the existing farmstead at Haithwaite Farm.

A farm shop, cafe, exhibition space and wellness spa will be created.

There will also be a heritage centre focusing on the history of the Border Reivers, craft workshops and a taphouse bar and small distillery.

An artists impression of the development at Haithwaite Farm. Credit: ITV

Gerald Smith, who is a director of Netherby Hall Ltd which is behind the plans, said: “Our ambition is to create a destination for the community and visitors which would provide more reasons for people to visit this part of the world, and in turn support other local businesses and the wider economy.

“By regenerating existing derelict and redundant buildings at Haithwaite Farm, we aim to diversify the traditional farmstead into a sustainable, green tourism venture which will look to the future by creating new jobs and opportunities for local people while remaining sensitive to the local area.

“I would like to thank the members of the local community who have shown their support for the development.

“We’re delighted that the plans have been approved by the council and we are looking forward to making the proposals a reality.”

There are also plans to create safe road access to the site from the B6318 which focuses on sustainability through the use of renewable energy sources.

As part of the development, the existing farmhouse and outbuildings will be turned into self-catering accommodation, as well as new office space and staff accommodation.

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