Duchess marks milestone at The Sill

The Duchess of Northumberland joined Northumberland National Park Authority to celebrate an important stage in the construction of The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre.

Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 10:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 10:21 am
Tony Gates, chief executive of the Northumberland National Park Authority; 93-year-old Jack Hope, from Wooler, the National Parks original earden; the Duchess of Northumberland; Coun Glen Sanderson, chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority; with Henshaw Primary School pupils Reed Bryson and Chloe Makepeace, both eight.

She marked the completion of the core structure in a topping-off ceremony and took a tour of the site.

She was joined by 93-year-old Jack Hope, from Wooler, the park’s original warden, pupils from Henshaw Primary School, park chief executive Tony Gates and chairman Glen Sanderson.

Cllr Sanderson said: “Years of planning and hard work by the National Park Authority, our partners and our contractor, have enabled us to reach this significant milestone for The Sill.

“We are incredibly proud and excited to be entering the final stages of construction and thrilled to welcome the Duchess to share this significant moment with us.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The Sill promises to provide a 21st-century platform for us to work closely with our partners locally and across the wider region to attract more people to the county, enable local enterprise to thrive and create more jobs by capitalising on growing tourism opportunities.”

The Sill is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors per year and deliver substantial economic benefits within the Park and beyond by contributing an estimated £2.5million a year to the North-East economy.

The Duchess said: “The Sill is an exciting new development for the county and located in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt areas of the country. I’d like to congratulate Northumberland National Park Authority on their vision and determination to create a building which captures the unique qualities of the National Park and will re-engage people with the landscape, nature and the great outdoors.

“The Sill also heralds a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shine a national spotlight on the vital importance of landscape to our health, wealth and well-being. The activity and engagement programme promises to stimulate and nurture the next generation of landscape enthusiasts, open up access to the countryside for everyone and ensure that these important wild places – and the communities within them – continue to thrive.”