Hadrian's Wall to get £11m visitor centre
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Hadrian's Wall to get £11m visitor centre

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Hadrian’s Wall’s 1960s-era visitor centre will bow out to make way for a brand new facility after plans got the go-ahead from authorities. The English border village of Once Brewed, which serves the stream of hardy walkers who tackle the 117.5km (73 mile) trek across the historic wall, will be home to an £11.2m ($17.9m, €14.3m) development.

The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre, imagined by Newcastle-based architects Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall (JDDK), aims to flatter the landscape and be progressive in its design. The project has now been cleared by the National Planning Casework Unit, having already received local authority consent. Northumberland National Park Authority and the Youth Hostels Association (YHA) are partners to the Sill, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

According to Northumberland National Park Authority chairman John Riddle, planning approval may now be granted and the project can move forward.

“The long-term gains of the project include economic growth and job creation, and then there are the benefits you just cannot put a price on – including the impact the project will have on young people from a training and educational perspective,” Riddle said. It’s predicted that 100,000 visitors per year will bring an extra £3m ($4.8m, €3.8m) to the region, and the Sill will create 117 new jobs.

The project has put the public at the heart of its development, sourcing the opinions and ideas of more than 1,700 local people. “From the outset, the Sill project has involved the whole community, inviting people to participate and share their thoughts and feedback. We want to create a centre which everyone can be proud of,” said Stuart Evans, Sill Project Director at the Northumberland park authority.

“As part of the next stage of development, we want to continue this process and invite anyone who would like to contribute to come forward and help us realise the project’s full potential,” added Evans.

It’s thought the Sill will greatly benefit Northumberland’s tourist industry, a sector recently in the news for its push into the astrotourism sector.

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Hadrian’s Wall’s 1960s-era visitor centre will bow out to make way for a brand new facility after plans got the go-ahead from authorities. The English border village of Once Brewed, which serves the stream of hardy walkers who tackle the 117.5km (73 mile) trek across the historic wall, will be home to an £11.2m ($17.9m, €14.3m) development.
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