Final designs revealed for £11.2m Landscape Discovery Centre in Northumberland
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Final designs revealed for £11.2m Landscape Discovery Centre in Northumberland

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Burnley FC in the Community
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location: Chesterton Community College and Sports Centre, Cambridge UK, United Kingdom
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location: Leigh Sports Village, Wigan, UK, United Kingdom
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The final designs have been revealed for The Sill, Northumberland’s proposed £11.2m national Landscape Discovery Centre and Youth Hostel, which aims to boost the scenic north east England region’s tourism economy and provide educational facilities.

Following months of public consultation, whereby over 1,700 people submitted design ideas for the project, the final designs have been displayed at an event led by partners Northumberland National Park Authority and the Youth Hostels Association of England and Wales.

The centre, designed by architects Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall, will house state-of-the-art education facilities, super-fast broadband, five external activity areas, serviced office accommodation for outdoor activity businesses, plus retail and cafe areas for local produce.

Since the last consultation event in the autumn of last year, an innovative form of interpretation design created by Edinburgh-based design consultants Bright 3D has also progressed, with an overarching theme ‘hidden in plain view’ shaping plans for exhibition design space to explore different aspects of the local environment.

If plans are approved and funding for the project successfully achieved, the building would aim to be at the forefront of sustainable design, with local woodchip heating, photovoltaic canopies and solar thermal water heating all being utilised by its developers.

The Sill’s developers hope that the centre will create a hub to open up the landscape of the whole of Northumberland National Park, while offering substantial economic benefits to the region.

It is expected that the centre could create a contribution of £3.35m in its first year alone, by establishing an exciting ‘shop window’ for rural businesses in and around the area.

“The benefits to the community and region as a whole are far-reaching and extensive with the project set to offer a step-change benefit for the rural economy creating up to 156 jobs in its first year alone,” says John Riddle, Chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority.

“The Sill is an ambitious project which will open up the Northumbrian landscape, a hidden gem, to new audiences on a national and international level.

“Our aim is to create a building and educational outreach programme which will transform how people experience, enjoy, understand and care for the landscape of the future. It will boost tourism spend whilst giving local businesses across the Park.”

The Northumberland National Park takes care of the landscape and cultural heritage of 405 square miles, covering over a fifth of Northumberland from Hadrian’s Wall to the Scottish border.

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The final designs have been revealed for The Sill, Northumberland’s proposed £11.2m national Landscape Discovery Centre and Youth Hostel, which aims to boost the scenic north east England region’s tourism economy and provide educational facilities.
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