Contracts to run new park up for grabs

The Northumberlandia earth art form taking shape at Cramlington with views of the surrounding area including the Shotton Mine Works and windmills.
The Northumberlandia earth art form taking shape at Cramlington with views of the surrounding area including the Shotton Mine Works and windmills.
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A contract to oversee the running of the new park being created around the Northumberlandia earth sculpture, near Cramlington, is up for grabs.

The Land Trust is looking to appoint a manager for the sculpture, the biggest depiction of a human being in art anywhere in the world, and the 19-hectare public park of which it will be the centrepiece.

Another contract is also on offer for the management of the visitor centre and café being built by mining firm the Banks Group on the Blagdon Estate to the west of Cramlington.

Alan Carter, head of portfolio management at the charity, set to take over responsibility for the site after it opens to the public, said: “We are aiming to find both a managing agent and a visitor centre and café operator with the expertise to deliver in line with the trust’s core objectives to provide health, education, social, economic and environmental benefits to local communities.”

The managing agent’s main roles include maintaining the site, managing it as a visitor destination, identifying income-earning opportunities to help pay for its upkeep and working with the surrounding community to ensure that Northumberlandia benefits them.

Designed by Charles Jencks and paid for by the Banks Group and the Blagdon Estate, the 400m-long earth sculpture, pictured, is expected to attract around 200,000 visitors, making it one of the biggest tourist draws in the region.

Katie Perkin, communications manager at the Banks Group, said: “The investment that has been made in Northumberlandia is designed to lead to a tangible positive legacy resulting from our work, part of which will be the employment opportunities created on site and the economic impact the figure has on the area.

“It’s exciting to be close to the completion of landscaping work on the site, and we are pleased that we will be able to entrust its future care and maintenance to a well-regarded organisation like the Land Trust, which shares both our vision for Northumberlandia and our community-focused way of working.”

Bob Downer, the Blagdon Estate’s chief executive, added: “We believe that under the expert guidance of the Land Trust, Northumberlandia has the potential to be developed into an iconic gateway to Northumberland, attracting visitors and economic growth to the area.”

Further information on the two contracts is available at www.thelandtrust.org.uk/business/pages.html?PID=newbusinessopportunities

The deadline for submissions is a week tomorrow.