Northumberland National Park Authority has approved construction of a £14.8m development in the UK called ‘The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre’.

The authority has selected Sir Robert McAlpine as the chief contractor for a visitors’ centre.

Sir Robert McAlpine will be working in coordination with the project’s core design team, which includes Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall (JDDK) as architects, Cundall as planner, Glen Kemp as landscape architects, Bright 3D as interpretation designers, Patrick Parsons as structural and civil engineers.

Gardiner and Theobold will be working as project managers for the scheme.

"Its main purpose is to open up Northumberland National Park and the surrounding areas to more people."

Construction at the Once Brewed site, which is expected to start later in the month, will lead to the demolition of the existing National Park Visitors’ Centre and Youth Hostel.

Trial activities and events will be hosted at nearby Walltown during the construction period.

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Northumberland National Park Authority chief executive Tony Gates said: "The Sill represents the largest-scale initiative of its kind, in the history of not only Northumberland National Park Authority, but National Parks across the UK.

"Its main purpose is to open up Northumberland National Park and the surrounding areas to more people, helping them learn about and explore one of Britain’s finest landscapes.

"It will be open all year, offering a wide range of facilities, including YHA accommodation, exhibition space, retail facilities and a café and restaurant."

The Sill, which will be unveiled to visitors in 2017, is likely to generate more than 100 new jobs in the region each year, during construction.

Image: The design plan for The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Park in Northumberland, UK. Photo: courtesy of The Sill.