Cash boost for Northumberlandia


Funding has been secured for a new state-of-the-art visitor centre at Northumberlandia, Cramlington.

The Land Trust, the national charity managing Northumberlandia, has recently secured grants from the Banks Community Fund and Defra’s Regional Economy Grant, totalling £242, 000, to construct a new visitor centre at the Northumberlandia site. The centre will be located in the woodland area and act as the gateway to the Lady of the North, providing visitors with key information about the landform and the local area.

The centre will comprise of a café, shop and toilets and will be managed by Azure Charitable Enterprises.

Alan Carter, Head of Portfolio Management at the Land Trust welcomes the news: “This is fantastic news for Northumberlandia and the region and we are very grateful to the Banks Community Fund and Defra’s Regional Economy Grant,” he said.

“Their funding means that we will be able to provide an environmentally friendly visitor centre, in keeping with the natural setting which will improve the overall visitor experience and sustainably add to the amenities onsite.”

As well as acting as a visitor centre and café for visitors to the site, it will also be available for a range of community activities, such as evening meetings, educational courses and a base for guided walks and talks. This will enable the park to deliver further benefit to the local community.

Mark Dowdall, Environment and Community Director at the Banks Group said: “I am delighted that work is soon to start on this important next phase of the Northumberlandia project which will add significant value to the visitor experience.

“When we first developed our plans for Northumberlandia, we set out to deliver a new gateway feature for Northumberland with a unique and spectacular publicly accessible land sculpture as the centrepiece, providing a really special place for the local community and attracting new visitors to the region.

“The Lady of the North and the number of visitors to the park are already meeting our initial expectations and I hope that these new facilities will attract even more visitors to the region.”

Construction will be under way soon, with the visitor centre planned to open in November 2013.

Northumberlandia is a unique landform sculpture of a reclining lady, designed by the world renowned architect and landscape designer, Charles Jencks. Made of 1.5million tonnes of rock, clay and soil, she is 100 feet high, a quarter of a mile long and set in a 46 acre community park with free public access. She cost £3million to construct, which was privately funded by The Banks Group and Blagdon Estate and is now under the stewardship of open space management charity, The Land Trust and managed of their behalf by Northumberland Wildlife Trust.