THE Lady of the North has picked up a top tourism award.
Northumberlandia, the world’s largest human landform, has been named the winner of the Tourism and Leisure category in this year’s Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) North East Renaissance Awards.
The honours, which are dubbed the region’s property industry Oscars, seek to recognise projects that have made an outstanding contribution.
The tourism award was judged by a panel of 14 North East property experts, who were impressed by Northumberlandia’s popularity with the public, with thousands of people visiting the landform and surrounding 47-acre public park every week.
The £3million attraction was developed by the Banks Group and Blagdon Estate as a ‘restoration first’ initiative for the nearby Shotton Surface Mine, operated by Banks.
Around 1.5 million tonnes of stone, clay and soil extracted from the mine were used to construct the landform to provide a positive legacy for the area.
The two partners also provided long-term funding for the management of the park by The Land Trust in association with Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Azure Charitable Enterprises.
Banks Planning Director Philip Baker said: “The long-term impact on local tourism and the boost that an increase in visitor numbers would provide to the local economy was very much front of mind when Northumberlandia was conceived and developed.
“We are thrilled with the constant flow of visitors to the site that was quickly established after she opened last year from both within the local community and further afield.
“This award is further confirmation of the landform’s prominence in every way within the regional leisure landscape.”
Blagdon Estate Chief Executive Bob Downer added: “Northumberlandia forms the centrepiece of a fantastic recreational facility for local people and visitors alike, and getting independent recognition like this of her many merits is further support for Banks and Blagdon’s decision to fund and create something so unforgettably unique.”
The landform has also been short-listed in Awards for Planning Excellence by the Royal Town Planning Institute.