The Sill Landscape Discovery Centre

Location Northumberland, United Kingdom 
Services Lighting design and planning
Sector Lifestyle
Client Northumberland National Park Authority
Architect Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd
Imagery © Kristen McCluskie

Ian Cansfield

T +44 (0)191 213 1515

Cundall acted as planning consultants and lighting designers for the project and worked in a positive and collaborative way with the Northumberland National Park Authority planning team.

The project was granted planning permission in October 2014 and opened in July 2017. The £14.8m Sill project is the UK’s first dedicated Landscape Discovery Centre. It is a hub of extensive learning, participation and research activities some 30,000 days a year. This makes the Sill a leading heritage education facility for landscape, conservation, countryside management, and leisure and tourism skills.

The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre is a partnership between Northumberland National Park Authority and YHA (England and Wales). In 2015, The Sill received a £7.8m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and has also been supported through funding from Northumberland County Council and the North East Rural Growth Network. The project won Planning Permission of the Year at the Planning Awards 2015.

Tony Gates, Chief Executive of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “I think this achievement is a great testament to the hard work and dedication of both our own planning team and that of our excellent planning consultants, Cundall. The Sill is the largest initiative of its kind for any UK National Park, and it will see the fruition of our exciting plans to open up Northumberland National Park and the surrounding areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to more people.”

Cundall's lighting team completed the lighting design for the project which was a huge undertaking given the granted Gold Tier Dark Sky Park status that had been recently awarded by the International Dark Skies Association. The Sill site is now part of the largest area of protected night sky in Europe. The Light4 team had to therefore constantly work to create an amazing project which protected the Dark Sky status.

Ian Cansfield, Director of Planning at Cundall, said: “This has been a fantastic project to be part of and we have relished the challenge of securing consent for this contemporary designed facility in a sensitive environment. Not only is this close to Hadrian’s Wall (part of the “Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site”), part of the site is also designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and there are strict National Park planning rules to comply with.”

Planning Awards 2015
Planning Permission of the Year, Winner

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