A Hadrian’s Wall Country bed and breakfast has boosted business with a paid-for social media campaign, thanks to the North of Tyne Combined Authority. By Heather Newton

The Old School House in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, took advantage of a fully funded Facebook marketing campaign with a support programme directly set up as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Owners Ian and Kate Dommett transformed the business, a stone’s throw from the Sycamore Gap beauty spot on Hadrian’s Wall, from an AirBnB into an impressive five-bedroom B&B in 2019. They opened their doors to guests in April that year and were prepared for business to boom in 2020. But their plans were dealt a blow by coronavirus pandemics lockdowns, which lost the business 104 days’ worth of trading.

Keeping their dream alive, the husband and wife team set about getting the maximum support they could through grant aid and furlough payments, and being open to key workers.  Ian and Kate signed up to the Business Northumberland programme, funded by the North of Tyne.


Business Northumberland provides support to small and medium enterprises across the North East who are looking to sustain and grow their business online. It was decided that Facebook would be the best for the duo to maximise bookings and raise brand awareness.

“It has been very positive. It is very professionally run, supportive of micro businesses such as ours and directly contributing to positive re-opening opportunities.”

When the campaign went live bookings started flooding in.

“It has led to direct sales with one guest booking directly from seeing the advertisement for a stay valued higher than the cost of the advertisement. We have also received lots of positive comments and interactions”

The B&B aims to be the best rated B&B in the North of England and attending networking and workshops with Busines Northumberland are excited to continue their journey with the programme to grow their digital skills.

To find out more about getting your business online with a fully funded e-commerce website please go to: https://www.businessnorthumberland.co.uk/

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