A significant partnership project to revamp the visitor centre at Housesteads Roman Fort will enter its second phase in coming months, with work set to start in October, 2012.
The National Trust will invest £650,000 to make improvements to Housesteads Visitor Centre. The Trust will to upgrade the look and feel of the facilities at Housesteads visitor centre which is the welcome point for all visitors to Housesteads Roman Fort and is visited by nearly 100,000 people each year.
The investment is the second stage in a partnership project with English Heritage and Northumberland National Park and comes after similar financial investment by English Heritage to improve Housesteads Museum and the interpretation of the fort earlier this year.
Andrew Poad, Property Manager for the National Trust at Hadrian’s Wall, said: “The National Trust and English Heritage are investing £1.3 million to improve Housesteads Roman Fort, the most complete Roman Fort in Britain.”
The Trust’s will improve the welcome information available to help people better enjoy their visit, as well as extending the existing visitor building upwards to create more space for catering seating areas. They will bring the toilets inside the building and create a glazed seating area in the courtyard. In addition, resurfacing of the roads and pathways to the Fort and additional disabled parking spaces up at the Fort will improve visitor access.
Andrew continued: “We’re doing this work to provide the very best welcome possible for visitors to this part of Hadrian’s Wall which is a World Heritage Site. Each year we ask thousands of visitors to tell us what we can do to improve their experience at Housesteads Roman Fort and feedback indicates that improving our visitor centre is key so we’re making some big changes in response to that.”
Work starts in October and North East-based building contractors MGM Ltd will work over winter to create a new and improved visitor centre that will re-open in spring. While the work is taking place the visitor centre will be closed. However, Housesteads Museum, the Fort and the English Heritage shop will remain open as usual.
Further project work planned by Northumberland National Park Authority includes the creation of additional car parking spaces and a more convenient stop for the Hadrian’s Wall Bus.