The Sill is a bold, ambitious project that will transform how people of all ages understand and explore the landscapes, history, culture and heritage of Northumberland and the wider North East. A major purpose of The Sill is to enable the landscapes of Northumberland National Park and surrounding Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to be opened up to even more people, including children, families, older people, disabled people and those who are less confident at exploring natural places.
But The Sill will be far more than simply a visitor destination. It will create a gateway from which extensive learning and research activities will be provided and become a leading education facility for landscape, conservation, countryside management, leisure, and tourism skills. A comprehensive new activity programme will inspire people to celebrate, value and conserve Northumberland’s unique natural and cultural features.
The Sill will deliver substantial economic benefits to the area too - including a Rural Growth Hub to support twenty rural enterprises and a range of opportunities for local businesses - ensuring an impact in Northumberland and beyond for many years to come.
The Sill will be built on the site of our existing visitor centre and YHA hostel at Once Brewed, adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall.
Crag Lough and Hadrian's Wall
Our vision is for Northumberland’s exceptional landscapes to be enjoyed by as many people as possible, and to provide the opportunity for people to explore, understand and nurture these landscapes and the places, heritage and wildlife that interact with them. That is why Northumberland is the natural home for The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre.
The Sill is a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn a national spotlight onto the vital importance of landscape to our nation’s health, wealth and well-being; to stimulate and nurture the next generation of landscape enthusiasts; to open up access to the countryside to everyone; and to ensure that these last wild places - and the communities within them - continue to thrive.
The total costs for The Sill - both capital and revenue over five years - will be £14.2 million. To date, more than £12 million has been secured towards the project’s capital and revenue costs. We are proud to say that The Sill has been awarded nearly £8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This is the highest HLF grant ever awarded to a national park.
To realise the incredible potential of The Sill and build Britain’s first dedicated National Landscape Discovery Centre will require an additional £2.2 million.
Could you make your own lasting mark on the landscape by investing in something exceptional?