John Grundy unveils heritage plaque at business HQ

John Grundy and Nigel Begg
John Grundy and Nigel Begg
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A WEARSIDE business boss has been given the seal of approval for his restoration of a landmark building built by a Sunderland family.

TV presenter and historian John Grundy unveiled a heritage plaque at Heworth Hall, Heworth, Gateshead, which is now home to award-winning IT company Aspire – run by Whitburn man Nigel Begg.

Aspire’s transformation of the hall had already been recognised in both the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) North East Renaissance Awards and the Royal Town Planning Institute regional awards.

William Russell, of Sunderland and Brancepeth Castle, built the hall, then Nether Heworth Hall, in 1730. In 1929, the hall became Heworth Conservative Club, which it remained until becoming the home of Aspire.

The Russells also built the Washington Waggonway to Bill Quay Staith early in the 18th century.

Managing director Mr Begg said: “We could see the potential of what is an iconic building and knew it would make a great HQ for us.”