Businesses can hook up with biggest landform

The head of Northumberlandia under construction
The head of Northumberlandia under construction

COUNTY businesses have the opportunity to get involved with a major new visitor attraction on the Blagdon Estate.

National public space charity The Land Trust is looking to appoint a managing agent and a visitor centre and cafe operator for Northumberlandia, the world’s biggest human landform which is being currently created by the Banks Group from around 1.5million tonnes of soil and clay taken from the nearby Shotton surface mine.

And firms are now being invited to tender for the contracts.

Designed by world-renowned artist Charles Jencks, Northumberlandia will form the centrepiece of a 19-hectare public park on the estate. The Banks Group and the Blagdon Estate have jointly funded the creation of the landform, which is expected to attract around 200,000 visitors a year.

The Land Trust will take over responsibility for the site once it opens to the public. Head of Portfolio Management Alan Carter said: “We are aiming to find both a managing agent and a visitor centre and cafe operator with the expertise to deliver in line with the Trust’s core objectives, which are to provide health, education, social, economic and environmental benefits to local communities.”

The managing agent’s main roles will include sustainably maintaining the site, managing it as a visitor destination, identifying any income earning opportunities to support the existing funding and working with the local community to ensure Northumberlandia benefits them.

When the park opens to the public, it will contain more than 4km of surfaced paths and over 2.5km of grass paths.

The 400metres long landform alone is more than seven times the size of the pitch at St James’ Park, taller than an eight-storey building at its highest point and takes more than 20 minutes to walk around.

Bob Downer, Chief Executive of the Blagdon Estate, said: “We are proud to be able to continue a long tradition of the Ridley family’s connection and support of the local area.

“We have been privileged to be able to work with both Charles and the Banks Group in creating this unique, spectacularly beautiful piece of land sculpture to be enjoyed by members of the public from both the local area and further afield.

“We believe that under the expert guidance of the Land Trust, Northumberlandia has the potential to be developed into an iconic gateway to Northumberland – attracting visitors and economic growth to the area.”

Those interested in tendering for the contracts can find further information at www.thelandtrust.org.uk/busi ness/pages.html?PID=newbusinessopportunities

The deadline for submissions is March 23 and any questions or points of clarification can be directed to procurement@thelandtrust.org.uk