Heritage Centre Winning Design Unveiled

The winning design for the new Heritage Centre was unveiled at a successful consultation event held on Saturday 11th June at Winlaton Mill Village Hall.

Led by Groundwork NE & Cumbria and Gateshead Council, the event showcased the design and draft planning proposals for a £1 million visitor centre, which will be built as part of the Land of Oak & Iron. Over 35 designs were created by architecture students from Northumbria University, of these 6 were short listed for consultation at a previous event in March. The public were overwhelmingly in support of the winning design, by Matthew Glover, which also met with the expectations of the group overseeing the Heritage Centre scheme.


Matthew’s design was inspired by a water wheel, of which there were many at Crowleys Iron Works, which was located on the site in Derwenthaugh Park where the Heritage Centre will be built. The Heritage Centre proposal has been developed from Matthew’s design, the draft planning application documents were on display at the event and were seen by more than 100 people who attended.

Councillor Malcolm Brain, Gateshead Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “The Heritage Centre would be a fantastic asset both for the Land of Oak & Iron and for rural Gateshead. Matthew Glover’s ‘waterwheel’ concept is a great reflection of the industrial history of the area and is a strong design, which will greatly enhance the experience for visitors.

He added: “By celebrating the area’s heritage, the Land of Oak & Iron project aims to create tourism, regeneration and employment opportunities that will deliver local economic benefits. This Heritage Centre is an important part of that process. And the partnership between the Council, Groundwork NE & Cumbria and Northumbria University in developing this proposal, shows that despite cuts in local government funding, innovative approaches such as this can still happen to provide investment in Gateshead.”

The Heritage Centre is being proposed to help sustain the Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) Land of Oak & Iron Landscape Partnership (LOI), a £3.4 million programme aiming to conserve, enhance and celebrate the unique and fascinating natural, industrial and cultural heritage of the area. Pending planning approval and successful funding bids, the centre will provide a community and heritage hub to ensure the legacy of the LOI can continue once the 4 year HLF grant has come to an end.

The LOI’s vision is to work with local communities and partners to celebrate, conserve and enhance our natural, industrial and cultural heritage. With partners, it will deliver a legacy of job creation, tourism, regeneration and economic benefits.