RESTORATION: Lartington Hall was turned into a wedding venue after being bought for £1.2m
RESTORATION: Lartington Hall was turned into a wedding venue after being bought for £1.2m

A TEESDALE wedding venue has closed for good because of Covid-19.
Shona and John Harper-Wilkes, the owners of Lartington Hall, announced that the business will take a new direction. It comes after the plight of the venue was raised in parliament as an example of the problems the industry was facing due to Covid restrictions.
In a statement last week, the business said: “For the last eight years Lartington Hall has been a restoration passion and much loved host to the most gorgeous weddings under the ownership of John and Shona Harper-Wilkes.
“Our passion has exuded the very fabric of the hall and created a beloved and very special wedding venue. Due to continued uncertainty and the ever-evolving nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, the hall will close its doors to weddings and be taken in a different, Covid-viable direction.”
The couple thanked their staff for creating “magic for our couples and guests”, as well as suppliers.
In October, the area’s MP, Dehenna Davison, told the House of Commons that all staff at Lartington Hall were let go because of cancelled wedding bookings. She called for additional support for the events and entertainment sector in the Covid 19 crisis. The couple bought the historic country house in 2010 for £1.2million and spent large sums of cash on the restoration project, which at the time they described as a labour of love. The couple were unavailable for further comment.
However, wedding suppliers have expressed their sadness. DJ Disco Couture said on social media: “Another great wedding venue bites the dust due to the long term impact of Covid on the economy.”
One couple who were due to get married at Lartington Hall said their hearts went out to the owners.