Duchess looks abroad for funding

One of the North's flagship tourist attractions is looking abroad for £42m to help fund its completion.

One of the North's flagship tourist attractions is looking abroad for £42m to help fund its completion.

Trustees at The Alnwick Garden admit that the money needed to complete the grand venture will not likely be found in Britain, following a £25m snub by Lottery bosses last year.

And to help in the global search for cash, the Duchess of Northumberland has now enlisted the help of one of the UK's top fund-raisers.

John McCaffrey has already managed to secure $230m from Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, which was awarded to Cambridge University in 1999.

His talents will be put into securing money to complete the third phase of work at the Garden, which will include an ice rink, grotto, orchards, adventure playground and a bridge across Denwick Lane to connect with the car parks.

The Duchess said: "I had a gut feeling that we had exhausted the generosity of the North-East, which has been extremely good to us. At some stage I knew it would be right to look further afield for funds and in particular to America.

"The way forward is the US, but we will also be going to the Gulf States and China."

In February next year, the Duchess is set to launch the Festival of Flowers in New Zealand, during which time she says she hopes to "crack Asia".

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