Award-winning venue reveals further expansion plans
AN AWARD-WINNING Northumberland wedding venue has revealed further plans to expand its offerings to coincide with its increasing growth by converting a derelict farm cottage on its 75-acre land into plush new offices for the growing team by March.
According to the owners of Northside Farm in Horsley, the move from the current offices of the first floor above the barn venue into the two storey property, will free up space to allow for more storage and stock along with a relaxing staff room as well as enabling them to expand the existing ground floor bar area which will include a cocktail station to accommodate the increasing number of weddings booked over the next few years.
The new offices will also create more room for full and part-time employees as owners Olivia and Ralph Lockey are currently recruiting for more coordinators, bar and waiting staff.
The expansion follows on from its self-funded £100,000 investment into additional accommodation in the form of whimsical fairy-tale style cottages and the renovations of the derelict gin gang into a licensed ceremony room last year.
Despite the Bank of England recently announcing that 2020 is on track for the weakest year outside a recession since the Second World War due to political uncertainty, owners Olivia and Ralph Lockey are hoping to buck the odds as 2020 sees the business’s highest bookings since establishing Northside Farm as an exclusive-use wedding venue in 2016.
“Northside Farm is continuing to go from strength to strength and thankfully 2020 has proven to be a very popular year to plan to get married in,” said Ms Lockey.
“We are delighted that we are almost fully booked up until the end of 2021 and have enquiries up to 2025. Not only is this great for us, but it also enables us to create more jobs and inwardly invest back into the business for our couples to create a truly unique wedding.”
By spring, the couple also plan to take stock of a new rare breed of beef herd for its working farm to enhance its already prized locally sourced Northumbrian food offerings, and are looking into a further five year plan to initiate more lavish additions for the site.
She continued: “This sort of expansion is worlds away from when we first started as a glamping site over eight years ago and we never expected that we could be in a position to consistently grow and increase our amenities so this latest development is simply another of many ways we like to enhance our current position to deliver the best service for our couples.
“In 2016 we held just 10 weddings and this year we will be hosting over 50. We weren’t really planning to think about investing again so shortly after last year’s renovations but we have always been committed to constantly maintaining and improving our beautiful property and are excited by what we can create over the next few years.”
Situated just ten miles west of Newcastle city centre Northside Farm was established in 2012 as a luxury glamping site with timber wigwams and onsite facilities. Since converting their barn, courtyard and gardens by hand, the owners have enjoyed steady success after opening its doors as a luxury rustic wedding venue in 2016 which accommodates up to 150 seated guests and over 200 evening guests.