Designers shortlisted for opportunity to supply new visitor centre and whisky distillery

Six designers has been shortlisted to help showcase Northumbrian creativity at the Ad Gefrin visitor centre and whisky distillery in Wooler.

Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 4:47 pm
Ravnclay, a Ford pottery, has been shortlisted for its concept of a traditionally made water jug.

The £10.5m centre, on a prime site next to the A697, is currently under construction and due to open in the autumn.

The Ad Gefrin team, working with the Rural Design Centre Innovation Project (RDCIP), held workshops and asked local artists and creatives to submit their proposals with the aim of securing a contract to supply the visitor centre shop.

Nick Devitt, senior design associate for the RDCIP, explained: “The Ad Gefrin design challenge showcases Northumberland and the rich culture here, drawing on that culture as inspiration to create something beautiful and meaningful.

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"The workshops were a way to convey that to those involved and each session was full of energy. We have seen such an amazing craftsmanship, design thinking and talent during each of the workshops and I was very much looking forward to seeing the work that would be submitted for this challenge and I have been blown away by what I have seen.”

After receiving 15 high quality submissions, the Ad Gefrin panel have agreed a shortlist of six local, small businesses. They are: Ravn Clay, Biteabout Arts, Joseph Hillier, Whistlebare, Sandra Russell and Be Therapies.

They are now invited to attend the final pitch event on January 12 where they will put forward their ideas and concepts in further detail, after which the judging panel will make their final decisions and the winner(s) will be announced.

Eileen Ferguson, partner in Ad Gefrin, said: “We are really grateful to everyone who has embraced the challenge and we hope everyone who has been involved has got value out of the support provided.

"I am proud to be from Northumberland and the level and quality of the work I have seen as part of this design challenge is so impressive. Very inspirational people doing very inspirational, contemporary work.

"People will be coming to visit Ad Gefrin from all over the world and we want them to see for themselves what it is that makes Northumberland so special.

"For our visitors to be able to purchase something which has been lovingly made by a local artist is truly amazing and something that will remind them of their visit for years to come.”

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