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£7.8m lottery boost for Hadrian’s Wall discovery centre

How the Sill will look once completed Photo:

Plans for the country’s first national landscape discovery centre has been given a £7.8 million funding boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Sill will be based on Hadrian’s Wall, near Hexham. It will be an all-weather and year-round facility providing hostel accommodation, retail facilities and a café.

The project, championed by Northumberland National Park Authority (NNPA) and YHA (England and Wales) will provide educational research events about the cultural heritage of the Northumberland landscape.

The centre has been designed to fit into the surrounding landscape and will use sustainable energy such as solar thermal water heating and wood chip heating.

Construction on the Sill is expected to begin on site later this year and it will open its doors to the public in June 2017. It is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors each year and will create over 100 new jobs.

Chief Executive of the National Park Authority, Tony Gates claims that the project will transform how people will learn and explore our landscapes.

The great outdoors is important to people, it enriches our lives, it makes us feel alive. The Sill will help people from all walks of life explore and learn about Britain’s finest landscapes.

The Sill as our answer to the ipad in helping grab young peoples’ attention.

– Tony Gates, Chief Executive of the National Park Authority

“With the famous Hadrian’s Wall and much more besides on the doorstep, this new state-of-the-art discovery centre will become the perfect base from which to explore the national park’s unquestionable beauty. The Heritage Lottery Fund’s investment is also supporting a year-round programme of exhibitions and activities that will ensure that visitors are tempted back to Northumberland again and again, providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.”

– Ivor Crowther , Head of HLF North East