The final designs were revealed last night for a landscape discovery centre on Hadrian’s Wall.
Representatives from the North East business and tourism community gathered for the official unveiling of the final designs for The Sill.
The £11.2m centre is planned by Northumberland National Park Authority and YHA (England and Wales).
The designs went on show at Bardon Mill Village Hall near the proposed centre’s lcoation at Once Brewed and will now be taken into the planning stages with an outcome predicted by summer.
The plans have been created by architects Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall, including a roof reflecting the whin sill habitat of Northumberland National Park.
The building will include local woodchip heating, photovoltaic canopies and solar water heating.
Around 1,700 people contributed suggestions in a series of open consultation events, meetings, focus groups and activity sessions. The centre will house education facilities, superfast broadband, five external activity areas, serviced office accommodation for outdoor activity businesses, areas for the sale of of local products and a local produce cafe.
The Sill’s vision is to create a hub which will open up the landscape of the whole of Northumberland National Park and offer substantial economic benefits to the region, with a £3.35m contribution predicted in its first year as it acts as a shop window for the rural businesses in and around the park.
Tony Gates, chief executive of Northumberland National Park Authority, said; “In just a short space of time, we have consulted people at 130 meetings and our design team have created concepts which are both sympathetic to the environment and inspiring in their vision.
“Over the course of the development phase of the project, which has been backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have invited members of the public to contribute to the design process, and their feedback and ideas have helped to shape the design.”
John Riddle, national park chairman, said: “The benefits to the community and region as a whole are far-reaching and extensive with the project set to offer a step-change benefit for the rural economy creating up to 156 jobs in its first year alone.
“The Sill is an ambitious project which will open up the Northumbrian landscape to new audiences on a national and international level. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and it needs the support and backing of the North East to make it a reality.”
Alison Thornton-Sykes, principal architect at Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall, said: “Projects like The Sill don’t come around very often and we are excited to be a part of this process.”