Culture Secretary praises Alnwick attractions after 'brilliant' family holiday in Northumberland

Northumberland can now count Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden among its growing list of admirers.

By Ian Smith
Friday, 3rd September 2021, 2:10 pm

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport visited The Alnwick Garden and Alnwick Castle while on a family holiday to Northumberland earlier this month.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed a brilliant family holiday in Northumberland this summer and visiting The Alnwick Garden and Alnwick Castle has been a real highlight.

"The castle is an extraordinary piece of Britain’s national heritage, while The Alnwick Garden is incredibly beautiful.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden with the Duchess of Northumberland at The Alnwick Garden.

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    "Both are testament to why it was so vital to protect our irreplaceable heritage and cultural bodies through the pandemic with the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, so these special places can be ready to help us build back better.

    "The two attractions are crucial to Northumberland’s future, creating jobs and investment through tourism which will be further boosted by the new Lilidorei play village at The Alnwick Garden, which has received £5m from the Government’s Borderlands scheme.

    “This extension to Alnwick’s tourism offering will bring further revenue to the hospitality and accommodation economy in the region.”

    The building of Lilidorei is being filmed by MGM for a six part global documentary series to be shown on Channel 4 beginning October 2022.

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden chats to the Duchess of Northumberland for a new documentary series on the building of Lilidorei.

    Lilidorei means ‘the Children’s adventure with play at its heart’ and will involve building the world’s largest play structure in the heart of a play village, for land north of the Treehouse.

    The Duchess of Northumberland said: “I didn’t think that building anything after The Alnwick Garden could be as challenging but Lilidorei is proving much more complex, trying to explain to a construction team how a hobgoblin or a fairy might behave is proving almost impossible.

    "The aim of Lilidorei is to encourage children to leave their phones in their pockets and to use their imagination – to achieve this the visitor has to enter into a totally believable magical world.

    “I am thrilled at the thought of a series that will shine a light on the many attributes that Alnwick and Northumberland have; a wealth of history, incredible castles, beautiful coastline and beaches and vast expanses of wild moorland.”

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden chats to the Duchess of Northumberland.

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