Thank you for your support and for giving us the confidence to deliver this vision.
The Sill is the largest, certainly the most ambitious – and probably the most extraordinary – project ever undertaken by a UK National Park. It’s a triumph of shared vision, effective partnerships, technical skills, artistic know-how, and brave bold new thinking. And thanks to our friends, funders, supporters, advisors, champions, colleagues, volunteers The Sill opened its doors to the public on 29 July 2017.
Some highlights from our first few months of operation are: between August and November we welcomed 73,248 visitors; the planting of the Whin Grassland roof, by contractor Cumbria Wildflowers Ltd, has established itself far better than expected; the newly-created safe walking path from The Sill towards Steel Crags and the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail is proving extremely popular; we submitted our BREEAM application and anticipate that The Sill will gain the BREEAM ‘Very Good’ environmental award; the Hadrian’s Wall bus drop-off and collection point on The Sill site is working well. It is the most popular stop with 44% of all passengers going to The Sill. Overall passengers on the whole bus service rose 26% since The Sill opened.
Handover of the youth hostel to the YHA took place on time and the YHA have paid their remaining capital contribution towards the Sill. The hostel has seen very high levels of occupancy since opening, welcoming 6,049 guests in the first four months.
The donor acknowledgement panel - in the main entrance of the Sill – lists all of the founding donors of The Sill. Both Sill Learning Rooms have been named following donations in memoriam – The Gillian Dickinson Room and The Alan Reece Room.
Now that we understand how people use and move around the building, we will look to enhance interpretation and signage. We are busy building a programme for the temporary exhibition space for the coming year. The next step is to develop a programme of temporary exhibitions. Further development of the exciting and transformational programme of activities which will take place from The Sill.
It took courage, support and an extraordinary shared vision to get us this far - and it is only with your continued support friendship, advice, skills and wise counsel that The Sill will continue to develop and grow in the heart of wild and beautiful Northumberland. Thank you for your support and for giving us the confidence to deliver this vision.