BUSINESS partners Katy Taylor and Wendy Withers will be cooking up a storm after landing the contract to provide catering services at a revamped community and arts centre.

The duo will run The Dispensary Cafe Bar at The Witham, in Barnard Castle town centre, which is due to reopen this summer after a multi-million pound refurbishment programme.

The name harks back to the establishment of the building in the mid 19th century, in memory of Henry Witham, a local philanthropist who lived at Lartington Hall and supported a Dispensary Society which gave medical assistance to those too poor to afford doctors' bills.

Ms Taylor, from Winston, and Ms Withers, from Gainford, will cater for building users as well as visitors to events ranging from comedy nights, concerts, theatre productions and the cinema.

Catering will also be provided for functions such as meetings, conferences, private parties and other commercial uses of the Witham buildings.

Trustees of The Witham are also close to appointing a manager for the complex.

Chairman Chris Clark said they hoped to have someone in place in May at the latest, ahead of the centre's scheduled summer reopening.

“The centre manager will be responsible for developing the arts and events programme, ongoing fundraising and managing the facilities for commercial and community use.”

Details of all facilities at The Witham are now available on the centre's new website,