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Arts

Cumbrian attraction’s double treat for re-opening

Artist Helen Johnson

A relaunched Cumbrian visitor attraction will have a double treat for its first visitors when it re-opens this weekend.

The team at The Hive at Nenthead, formerly the village’s arts and visitor centre, have spent the lockdown re-branding and are re-opening this Saturday (July 4) with their very own Independence Day.

The new look includes a fresh menu in the café and a ‘holiday takeaway’ offer. If people can’t fly to their favourite summer destinations The Hive will be preparing weekly themed specials from the US, Spain, Italy and the like.

There’s also a new exhibition for re-opening featuring paintings of Alston Moor by four well-known local artists.

Works by Gillie Cawthorne, Ben Haslam, Lionel Playford and Helen Johnson will be displayed and available to buy and there will be a ‘meet the artist’ event from 9.30am on Saturday. Prints and other art materials will also be on sale.

The Landscapes of Alston Moor exhibition will run for four weeks to Sunday, August 2. It will be open from Thursdays to Sundays 10am-3pm initially and the artists will also attend on selected afternoons for talks.

Sandra Mackenzie, the chair of Nenthead Chapel Enterprise Limited, said: “We’re thrilled to be re-opening and looking forward to welcoming people for both the exhibition and for our new menu.

“We’ve spent a lot of time and effort ensuring we are fully compliant with all the new health and safety requirements and will be a safe and welcoming venue for people to enjoy as lockdown eases.”

The Hive, housed in a former Wesleyan Methodist Church, sits at the crossroads to the three counties of Cumbria, Durham and Northumberland. The venue opened last year after a £1.7m Heritage Lottery Fund grant brought the dreams of its supporters to life.

The imposing chapel had sat closed and neglected and fallen into disrepair. But the enthusiasm of locals to see it once again be a landmark in the Pennines’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty saw a sympathetic renovation take place to rejuvenate the building.

Nenthead is one of England’s highest villages, at around 1,500ft, and was one of the earliest purpose-built industrial villages.

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