A spectacular earth sculpture in Northumberland has been chosen to represent the UK against the world’s best new landscape architecture projects.
Northumberlandia, the world’s largest human landform near Cramlington, was picked as the winner of the Best Landscape Architecture category for the North East in the 2013 UK Property Awards before going on to be named as the UK winner.
The unique sculpture, in the shape of a reclining female figure, will now go on to represent the UK in the World’s Best Property Awards, which take place in at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London in December. The ceremony will bring together the winners of eight winning programmes from around the globe.
The development of Northumberlandia by regional property and energy firm the Banks Group and the Blagdon Estate cost around £3m and took two-and-a-half years to complete.
Katie Perkin, communications manager at The Banks Group, said: “There’s been a lot of international interest in Northumberlandia over the last couple of years, and to now be put forward to represent the UK against the world’s best new landscape architecture projects shows quality of the design and construction of the project.
“Being in this sort of spotlight provides a great platform for North East England as a whole, as well as for Northumberlandia herself, and we hope it will lead to even more international visitors coming to the region to take a look at what’s on offer here.”
Northumberlandia, which is now managed by independent charity The Land Trust in association with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Azure Charitable Enterprises, has proved popular with both local residents and visitors to the region, with more than 100,000 people visiting the site over the last year.
Work on the construction of a new visitor centre began recently after The Land Trust secured funding totalling £242,000 from the Banks Community Fund and Defra’s Regional Economy Grant, and it is expected to open by the end of November.
Bob Downer, chief executive of Blagdon Estate, said: “Blagdon Estate has been privileged to be able to work with the Banks Group to create this remarkable project, which provides both a lasting legacy for the local community and a gateway to Northumberland, attracting visitors from around the world.
“We are delighted at the success of the development over the first year, and look forward to the exciting future Northumberlandia has ahead.”
Earlier this year, Northumberlandia was chosen as the winner of the Tourism and Leisure category of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) North East Renaissance Awards.