A range of unique gifts and crafts from the heart of Northumberland are now available at the touch of a button thanks to a new project.
The tourism team at Northumberland County Council have teamed up with Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Northumberland Tourism and talented local art and craft suppliers to develop an online shopping portal.
The new shopping page, which is located on the Visit Kielder website, will act as a gallery for businesses based in the local area and provide a boost to the local economy.
Customers can find locally made gifts such as hand painted mugs, limited edition prints and carved bottle openers – all reflective of Kielder Water & Forest Park or Northumberland International Dark Sky Park.
Jewellery artist, Dianne Fox, said “One of the great attractions of living in Northumberland is the quality of the dark skies - to clearly see the Milky Way on a dark and starry night is a truly wonderful experience.
“As It is a subject that has always been of great interest to me, as soon as I heard of this online initiative, which included a Dark Skies shop, I seized the opportunity to create themed jewellery and have been completely obsessed with the project ever since.
“On a personal level, as a designer/maker, it will be a great advantage to have my work promoted in this way and hopefully, in a wider sense to entice tourists to Northumberland to see all the talented artisans we have in this county.”
Local artists and crafters can reach new customers through the portal, and can offer a choice and range of unique products which can’t be found on the high street.
Coun Val Tyler, policy board member for community infrastructure and culture, said: “This is exactly what we are being asked for from tourists, visitors and shoppers, to be able to offer products that can’t be purchased on the high street. I hope this website will prove an innovative way of promoting individual gifts and will encourage more people to visit and seek out the wealth of art and crafts available in our county.”
Lynn Turner, director of Kielder Water & Forest Park, said: “This new shopping portal is a great opportunity to take advantage of the growing interest in star gazing and for local suppliers to promote their products.
“It will help make visitors aware of all the fantastic things Kielder Water & Forest Park and its dark skies have to offer, as well as providing unique souvenirs and creating lasting memories for those who have visited the Park.”
More information on the range of goods available can be found at www.visitkielder.com/shop