New lease of life for Deneholme

“ALLENDALE’S stricken conference centre, Deneholme, has been taken on by new tenants this week. Moving in: The conference centre’s new tenants Linda and Tony Beck are at the front with, back left, John Craggs and, right, Sharon Beck.Tony and Linda Beck, who own Becks Development Training, have signed a 15-year lease on the building. It was put on the rental market after the owners, community charity Fawside, ran out of funds. Fawside has moved out to make way for the new company which will use Deneholme as its base. The Becks will be running the building in much the same manner as it has been in recent years. The residential conference facilities will still be on offer, while Tony and Linda will also be providing outdoor activities. Clients can enjoy canoeing, climbing, canyoning and rafting as part of the team-building exercises that Becks Development Training offers.

Tony’s sister Sharon is looking after in-house matters such as cooking, cleaning and running the office. Newly-weds Tony and Linda will be living on-site for the first few weeks until they find a more permanent home nearby. It is hoped one of the building’s offices will soon be transformed into a caretaker’s flat so that groups using the accommodation will have a 24-hour management presence at the facility. The building will remain licensed for weddings and serving alcohol, and there are already three weddings booked for this year. Tony and Linda have been running their company for three years, and 37-year-old Tony’s background has been in working for outdoor activity organisations.

Linda, who is German, came to England in 2005 to work at the Calvert Trust at Kielder, where she developed her business management skills. Now the couple hope to expand their client base by being able to offer a complete package of outdoor activities and business development events. They also hope to construct a high rope walkway in the grounds of Deneholme. The couple already have a large range of clients, who they have been taking to venues such as Matfen Hall and Longhirst Hall in Morpeth. Although they will still use these venues for larger groups, they hope to attract others to Deneholme. Allendale parish councillor and director of Fawside, Margaret Stonehouse, said: “We have high hopes for the Becks because we have worked with them before and know what they offer. “It will be a great asset to the village if they can draw in clients, who in turn will boost the local economy by using our pubs and shops while they are here.” Meanwhile, Fawside is hoping to get back up and running as soon as possible, with potential venues including a base at Allendale village hall.”


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