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Superfast broadband crosses causeway to Holy Island

Holy Island. Credit: Angela Fullerton

Holy Island – home to a wealth of history dating back to 635 AD – has now truly arrived in the 21st Century.

Superfast fibre broadband has arrived at Lindisfarne, off the Northumberland coast.

As well as battling the North Sea, which covers the causeway access at high tide, a team of eleven BT engineers had to lay around 14km (8.6 miles) of optical fibres from Berwick to the island.

“Living on an island like Lindisfarne can present its challenges – not least of which is the need for suitable communications links. Tourism businesses have to be able to compete on a level playing field and residents too wish to receive the same level of service as their neighbours on the mainland. “I am delighted that through the iNorthumberland programme we have been able to provide superfast broadband to this community.”

– Cllr Dave Ledger, deputy leader, Northumberland County Council

The iNorthumberland programme is being delivered by Northumberland County Council, with the aim of fibre broadband to around 90% of homes and businesses in the county by December 2015.

"The benefits of faster broadband speeds are considerable for businesses with many of those situated on Holy Island serving the more than 650,000 visitors, who flock to the island every year. Businesses can now access booking systems, update websites and utilise social networking sites faster and more effectively, saving both time and money.

– Sean Atkinson, who runs the Lindisfarne Hotel on the island


£1.2m funding to preserve Lindisfarne Castle

Lindisfarne Castle. Credit: National Trust

Government funding of £1.2m has been secured to preserve Lindisfartne Castle for future generations.

The castle, on Holy Island, is deteriorating due to its exposure to salt, wind and sea.

The exposed location of the castle on the Northumberland coastline puts the fabric of the building under constant pressure from the elements.

As a result the building suffers from penetrating damp which in some areas puts the Castles contents at risk. There are also many leaking historic windows.

Lindisfarne Castle is a popular tourist destination, with nearly 100,000 visitors each year. Built in around 1550, it now has Grade 1 Listed status.

The National Trust is delighted to secure funding towards the future of Lindisfarne Castle. Northumberland welcomes nearly 9 million visitors each year, who contribute over £700 million to the local economy, so this investment in one of the region’s most iconic attractions is greatly welcomed. The Castle suffers because of its exposed coastal location. This project to enhance the Castle will ensure the long term stability and future of this iconic landmark that is loved by so many people. The funding is great news for Northumberland, for tourism, for heritage and for Holy Island and we are grateful of the support offered.”

– Simon Lee, general manager for the National Trust on the Northumberland Coast

Work will begin this summer to trial conservation techniques for the castle, with a view to project work beginning in 2017.

Lindisfarne back for Christmas shows

It's been two decades since folk band Lindisfarne has performed at Newcastle City Hall over Christmas.

Now they are back and it's opening night tonight! Queues were down the street when the box office opened, and they sold 1,000 tickets in 60 minutes. The band has called the come-back 'the ultimate Geordie night out' with Ray Jackson fronting the shows this Christmas.


Lindisfarne will perform to help save the City Hall

Lindisfarne fans have welcomed the news that the band are putting on a Christmas show this year. The box office sold 1,000 tickets in just an hour.

Lindisfarne's Ray Jackson is helping with the campaign to save Newcastle City Hall. Big council cuts have left its future as a music venue in doubt, and Ray says the only way to keep it going is to use it.

The group performed at Newcastle City Hall every Christmass between 1976 and 1990. Now, members are coming back together in an attempt to show people just how valuable the City Hall is.

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