• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

National Park launches invitations to tender

ByCharley Williams

Jan 21, 2017

In the run up to  summer 2017 and the opening of The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre, Northumberland National Park is inviting catering and digital firms to pitch for contracts worth a combined £250,000.

The National Park Authority is seeking expressions of interest from experienced caterers, restaurant or café operators who will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery and management of The Sill’s catering offer. They are particularly keen to hear from local businesses.

The main catering space can seat 80+ and is located on the first floor featuring stunning panoramic views of the Northumberland National Park landscape looking out towards Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the iconic Whin Sill from which the building takes its name. The successful applicant will provide café, restaurant, bar and events from this unique and innovative venue.

With an expected annual turnover in the region of £225,000, the catering franchise at The Sill offers a fantastic new business opportunity for the successful company and its supply chain.

The National Park is committed to finding a business who will work with them to develop a full range of high quality products. Where possible, local, regional, Fair-Trade and organic food will be given precedence and an ethos of healthy eating is essential.

The Sill team is already pulling together an exciting and broad events programme to include weddings and conferences, in addition to large numbers of daily tourism and educational visitors.

At the same time, Northumberland National Park Authority is also seeking to appoint a specialist digital partner to create a new interactive, web platform.

This will be instrumental in promoting activities and events connected to The Sill as well as the wider work of the National Park Authority and Northumberland National Park Foundation. The National Park Authority is looking for an innovative company who will help them tell their story in new and exciting ways, capturing the unique qualities of the area and engaging new and existing audiences through a range of digital platforms.

The contract is valued at £20,000 – £35,000 and is a great opportunity for a pioneering digital company to partner with the National Park Authority to showcase the National Park and Northumberland’s newest visitor attraction.

Supported by a £7.8m investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), The Sill is a once in a lifetime project of national significance for Northumberland National Park and the region.

The all-weather facility promises to be much more than simply a visitor destination. The Sill will provide a gateway from which extensive learning and research activities will be available and is set to become a leading education facility for landscape, conservation, countryside management, leisure and tourism skills.

The building itself features a walk-on grass roof and viewing platform, a permanent interactive exhibition and temporary display areas, a café celebrating local food and a retail area promoting the very best the region has to offer.

Within the building there is also an 86-bed youth hostel and two educational rooms able to accommodate groups of all ages. The Sill will host a comprehensive programme of year-round activities for people of all ages within the building and at locations throughout the National Park and further afield.

The Sill has a target of at least 100,000 visitors annually and the venue will be open all year round. It also offers fully-serviced office facilities for more than 20 local start-up businesses involved in rural and outdoor pursuits.

The project is set to deliver substantial economic benefits both within the Park and beyond by contributing an estimated £2.5 million per annum to the North East economy.

Dr Sarah Glynn, The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre Manager, said: “The Sill promises to provide a 21st century platform for us to re-engage people with the landscape, nature and the great outdoors.

“We are looking for creative ideas to complement our aim of providing visitors with a high quality,  local offering and we’re excited at the prospect of working with leading local businesses to support our vision of attracting more people to the county, enabling local enterprise to thrive.”

For further information on The Sill and these opportunities please contact Gillian Teasdale at Gillian.teasdale@nnpa.org.uk.