A new partnership between an innovative knitwear ‘upcycler’ and Northumberland National Park Authority is set to be showcased at a unique Bank Holiday event at Once Brewed in the Hadrian’s Wall area of the National Park.
The Woolly Pedlar, also known as Bardon Mill resident Sue Reed, will be stopping off at the future site of The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre this Bank Holiday Monday (25 May), to inspire visitors with her fabulous knitwear creations and offer some top tips on the upcycling process.
The event will include a ‘meet and greet’ with Sue at the Once Brewed site from 11am. Running until 3pm, Sue will demonstrate some of the techniques she uses and answer any visitor questions on upcycling – the process of turning recycled items into something new.
Visitors will be able to purchase items from The Woolly Pedlar’s upcycled collection of clothes, soft furnishings and accessories already sold at the site, including her popular ponchos, baby blankets, arm warmers and jumpers.
On the day, The Woolly Pedlar is also encouraging people to bring along their unwanted woollen items, with a 10 per cent discount for use online or at the shop, offered to anyone who donates.
Sue Reed, founder of The Woolly Pedlar, said: “I’m really looking forward to Monday’s event and hope to introduce lots more people to upcycling. It’s a trend that has really caught on recently and I regularly take orders from people around the world – as far away as California!
“By turning unwanted items into good quality new products, we’re helping boost our green credentials and supporting the local economy, whilst creating one-of-a-kind clothes and accessories.
“Monday’s event is going to be very informal. It’ll be a general drop in meet and greet event and I hope lots of people will join us to see the demonstrations and check out our shop.”
The team behind The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre – a unique opportunity to help more people learn about and explore Northumberland’s finest landscapes – hopes to attract more businesses and activity providers to shape its offer going forward.
Once operational, The Sill is set to attract more than 100,000 visitors each year, and will offer an all-weather and year-round facility that provides hostel accommodation, retail facilities and a café.
With construction planned to begin later this year, after £7.8m in Heritage Lottery Funding was successfully achieved, lead partners Northumberland National Park Authority and YHA (England and Wales) are on the lookout for businesses across the whole of Northumberland National Park, who might be interested in selling their produce at the new site, hosting regular workshops or delivering other activities and events.
The Woolly Pedlar is an example of a local business already on board. Sue Reed has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Northumberland National Park Authority and hopes to work in partnership as The Sill develops.
Sue continued: “I live very close to Once Brewed and believe that The Sill will be a wonderful resource for the local economy as such an important site for tourism, education and rural business. It’s a great idea and I look forward to seeing how the work of local businesses and artisans becomes an intrinsic feature of the centre. I’m pleased to be involved before The Sill is even up and running and the success I’ve already enjoyed through selling items at Once Brewed is an excellent sign of what’s to come.”
Stuart Evans, The Sill Project Director at Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted to be working with The Woolly Pedlar and hope Bank Holiday Monday’s event is a huge success.
“The Sill is set to offer huge benefits for the local economy and we’re calling out for more businesses to get on board. As a hub for rural business The Sill will provide fully supported business office facilities and the large footfall of visitors to the free to enter attraction will provide a very attractive shop window for the Northumbrian and Cumbria businesses. We want to hear from anyone who thinks they might be able to contribute so we can look at ways we might be able to work together going forward.”
To realise the incredible potential of The Sill and build Britain’s first dedicated National Landscape Discovery Centre, the partners hope to raise an additional £2.2 million. Construction is planned to begin on site later this year, with the activity programme starting in autumn 2015, and it is anticipated that The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre, will open its doors to the public in summer 2017.
Event details: ‘Meet The Woolly Pedlar’ will be hosted at Once Brewed National Park Centre, Military Road, Bardon Mill, Northumberland, NE47 7AN, on Monday 25 May 2015, between 11am and 3pm.
To find out more about The Woolly Pedlar, visit www.woollypedlar.co.uk, find The Woolly Pedlar on Facebook www.facebook.com/thewoollypedlar or Twitter @Woollypedlar