For, the Wildlife Discovery Centre, situated on the Trust’s reserve at Low Hauxley, has secured a bronze award in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year category - the most contested category with 28 entrants.
Designed by North Shields based architects Brightblue Studio and built by an army of dedicated volunteers, so far this year the reserve has attracted 80,000 visitors, 159 bird, and 17 butterfly species have touched down there.
This latest award rounds off a wonderful 2018 for the Wildlife Discovery Centre which was the regional winner of the Best Public Service Building category of the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Northern Building Excellence Awards 2018, secured three first prizes in the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) North East Awards 2018, the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Community Benefit Award North East and aTripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
Speaking about winning the Award Elaine More, Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Druridge Bay Living Landscapes Manager said: “Right, that’s it! We have the bit between our teeth now with this bronze award so we are aiming for silver and gold next time - and there is no stopping us.
“I know we say this every time but we really couldn’t have built the Centre without support from National Lottery players and the subsequent grant from Heritage Lottery Fund and our amazing army of volunteers who clocked up 26,000 hours working on the construction of the building.”
The Awards, which celebrate businesses that make the tourism industry a success, saw a record number of applications this year. Almost 150 entries, up 25% from last year, were then whittled down to 57 finalists who gathered at Newcastle Civic Centre for the awards ceremony.
In 2019, the region is set for an even greater-visitor boost thanks to the coming World Transplant Games and the European Professional Club Rugby Finals, which the wildlife charity is hoping will result in even more people visiting the picturesque reserve.