Our Heritage Centre is Officially Open

Land of Oak & Iron Heritage Centre official opening l-r Ian Brown, John Rundle, Mayor Jill Green

L-R: Ian Brown, Chair of Groundwork, John Rundle, Land of Oak & Iron and Mayor of Gateshead Jill Green

Nearly 100 people turned out to celebrate 500 years of years of the amazing industrial, cultural & natural heritage of our area this week to mark the official opening of our new Heritage Centre and café shrub in Winlaton Mill.

The £1.5m new visitor attraction for the Derwent Valley was officially opened by Ian Brown, Chair of Groundwork, Jill Green, Mayor of Gateshead and John Rundle from Land of Oak & Iron.

café shrub specialises in offering local produce in both the café and gift shop where you can immerse yourself in the heritage of the area with its use of reclaimed wood and exposed steel beams. The whole centre is providing a hub for the local community as well as a place where visitors can fuel up before or relax after an exciting day exploring all that the area has to offer.

Architecture student Matthew Glover, whose water wheel inspired concept was used to design the building.

Architecture student Matthew Glover, whose water wheel inspired concept was used to design the building

The Heritage Centre is open from 8am every day, closing at 4.30pm on Monday to Saturday and 4pm on Sunday. café shrub serves breakfast from 8am until 12 noon, light lunches from 12 to 3.30pm, with last coffee and cake orders at 4pm (3.30pm on Sundays).

Located in Winlaton Mill, in the heart of Ambrose Crowley’s industrial empire, the design for the centre was inspired by a concept from Northumbria University Architecture student Matthew Glover based on a water wheel. Gateshead Council’s Design Services then developed the concept into the building design we have today.

The Heritage Centre and café shrub are easily accessible via the Derwent Walk, Red Kite Trail and the Coast to Coast Cycle way, as well as from the main traffic route through the Derwent Valley.

Land of Oak & Iron, the Heritage Centre and café shrub are hosted by Groundwork NE & Cumbria and supported by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Centre has also been funded by Gateshead Council, Groundwork NE & Cumbria and the Rural Growth Network.