• Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

North East Connected

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North East planning specialist Hedley Planning Services has secured approval for a temporary new art installation at one of Northumberland’s most popular Roman sites, which will be a big boost to local tourism.

The move will see a stunning visual representation of the original northern gatehouse erected by English Heritage this summer at Housesteads Roman Fort near Hexham.

Designed by world-renowned artist Morag Myerscough, who creates installations and immersive spatial artworks that transform places and champion community and public interaction, the structure is an integral part of the year-long Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival.

The reimagined structure, open until 30 October, will be a boon for the local economy as part of a festival that’s already contributing to unleashing the economic potential surrounding the wall’s cultural and heritage significance; attracting more visitors the region as the holiday and tourism sector continues to bounce back post pandemic.

A series of community workshops with local groups at the site are also proposed, including plans to work with local poet Ellen Moran to help people visualise and understand local history and discover more about Roman life in Britain.

The proposals approved by Northumberland County Council planning department feature extra car parking spaces at the existing Housesteads’ car park and overflow parking at the Sill with a daily shuttle minibus service.

According to Amelia Robson, senior planner at Hedley Planning Services, the structure will be located on the same spot as the original northern gatehouse built during the construction of Hadrian’s Wall, which began in AD 122.

She added: “This is a fabulous opportunity to further add to what is already a world-class visitor destination with a truly unique structure and unprecedented visual experience. Plans for the gatehouse are sure to be a welcome addition and a boon to local tourism as the Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival continues to be experienced and enjoyed by thousands of  visitors this year.”

Planning approval covers the erection of the structure and the three months when it will be open to the public and its subsequent disassembly.