Construction has started on a new visitor centre at the site of the iconic Northumberlandia landform.
Work has begun on the facility, which will include a café and other visitor amenities.
The Land Trust, the national charity managing Northumberlandia, has recently secured funding from Banks Community Fund and Defra’s Regional Economy Grant, totalling £242, 000 to construct the visitor centre.
Alan Carter from the Land Trust said: “The park has had over 100,000 visitors in its first year.
“The addition of a visitor centre and café will improve the overall visitor experience and allow us to attract even more people to the region. ”
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at Banks Group, added: “I am delighted that work is soon to start on this important next phase of the Northumberlandia project, which will add significant value to the visitor experience.
“The ‘Lady of the North’ and the number of visitors to the park are already meeting our initial expectations and I hope that these new facilities will attract even more visitors to the region.”
The visitor centre will be located in the woodland area and act as the gateway to Northumberlandia, providing visitors with key information about the landform and the local area.
The centre will comprise of a café, shop and toilets and will be managed by Azure Charitable Enterprises.
The visitor centre is being constructed by Newcastle firm Clearspace Buildings, much of which will take place off site.
This allows the preparation of groundwork to be carried out at the same time and significantly cut the overall construction time, meaning the centre should be open by the end of November.
The centre will also be available for a range of community activities, such as evening meetings, educational courses and a base for guided walks and talks.