Sarah Glynn has been appointed manager of The Sill, the UK’s first dedicated landscape discovery centre which is currently under construction in the Hadrian’s Wall area of Northumberland National Park.
Sarah will work closely with local businesses, charities, communities, schools, universities and a range of other partners in the £14.8m Sill project, to develop an exciting programme of events and activities that will get underway well ahead of the building opening to the public in June 2017.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has granted £7.8m to The Sill project to support the delivery of more than 1,000 unique events between 2017 and 2020.
Commenting on her appointment Sarah said: “I’m really excited by the bold ambition that lies at the heart of The Sill project. Our main purpose is to inspire people of all ages and from all backgrounds to explore the wonderful landscapes of Northumberland. And while the building itself will be spectacular, it represents just one part of the overall project. We’ll be taking our events programme and the message of The Sill directly out into communities not only here in the North East but across the UK.”
Tony Gates, chief executive of Northumberland National Park said: “I’m delighted to welcome Sarah to our team. Although we’re still some 18 months away from opening The Sill it’s important to have Sarah in place now to drive our engagement with communities, volunteers and partners and to lead on turning this fantastic concept into a reality. I believe Sarah brings the precise mix of knowledge, skills and experience needed to achieve our vision for The Sill and we are pleased to have secured her services and commitment to the role.”
Sarah joins The Sill from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums where she was manager at The Great North Museum: Hancock. The first female curator in the museum’s 131 year history, Sarah oversaw the creation of more than 65 exhibitions and displays and was a key member of the team that led the museum though a £26m re-launch in 2009.
Iain Watson, director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums said: “Sarah has been a valued colleague and friend. Always energetic and resourceful, her leadership at the Great North Museum: Hancock has seen blockbuster exhibitions, excellent research projects with Newcastle University and the museum achieving record breaking visitor numbers. We wish her the very best of luck in her new appointment.”
Sarah was brought up in Hexham and now lives in Prudhoe, Northumberland. She studied geological sciences at Leeds University and gained a Ph.D. in marine geochemistry from Southampton University.
The Sill is being built on the site of the former visitor centre and YHA hostel at Once Brewed, adjacent to the Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On completion, The Sill is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors each year to all-weather facilities such as hostel accommodation, retail outlets, a café and education facilities for learners of all ages. It will also deliver substantial economic benefits to the region, including a Rural Growth Hub to support the growth and development of rural enterprises, 100 new jobs and an estimated £5m of additional visitor spending annually.