Historic grade II listed pub to provide home for council’s shop start-up service

The Masham HotelA historic pub is to become home to help for new shopkeepers in a North East town.

The Grade II listed Masham Hotel, in Middlesbrough, has been closed for a number of years and in recent times was used as a JD Sports store.

But now the distinctively green tiled old tavern, next to Marks and Spencer on Linthorpe Road, is to become home to Middlesbrough Council’s The Emporium.

Julie Marsden, economic development officer at Middlesbrough Council , told the Evening Gazette that the service’s current Cleveland Centre base was now too large and it was time to downsize.

“The Cleveland Centre has been very good to us but couldn’t offer us a smaller unit,” she said. “But the new spot has got more footfall and is in a good location plus it’s a listed building.

“It will occupy between five to six retailers and will be more open plan, as we are not going to install dividing walls to encourage the customer flow.”

Since 2010 The Emporium has helped 35 potential retailers, 13 of which have set up permanent homes in the town.

Each one received six months’ rent-free space – though there is a £50 a week “usage” charge – business development and PR support, and support to find suitable premises once the business moves on.

There are currently two vacant units at The Emporium and for more information contact Julie Marsden on 01642 729567 or email julie_marsden@middlesbrough.gov.uk.