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Walking the wall could become easier.

Byline: Michael Muncaster Reporter michael.muncaster@trinitymirror.com @MichaelMjourno

THERE'S no doubt Hadrian's Wall is one of Britain's best historical treasures. Set in the rolling countryside of Northumberland and Cumbria, the wall and its forts are the most visited Roman remains in the country.

Now trips to see the world heritage site could be about to get a little easier if funding to reopen nearby Gilsland Station can be secured.

The station, on the Tyne Valley line, closed in 1967 but campaigners have been lobbying for years to bring it back into use.

Northumberland County Council has vowed to try to make that happen by securing the funding through the Borderlands Growth Deal.

It involves councils from the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Carlisle City, Cumbria and Northumberland, and bids to promote economic opportunities in the areas.

Coun Richard Wearmouth, cabinet member for economic development at Northumberland County Council, said reopening the station would bring more tourists to Hadrian's Wall.

He said: "It would boost tourism in the area and provide a drop-off point on the line for people."

A council meeting heard it could cost anywhere between PS7m and PS28m to get the station back up and running.

Council leader Peter Jackson said: "This project still has the support of this council. We have been working over a number of years and will continue to do so."

The plans have been welcomed by The Campaign to Open Gilsland Station (COGS) group, which said reopening the station would boost the area's economy.

Member Mike Smith said: "The village is on the Roman Wall world heritage site and the station would offer absolutely unrivalled access.

"You could step off the train and be on the wall trail within 10 metres and a milecastle within 150 metres.

"Nowhere else on the wall can offer such proximity and immediacy.

"Without question the potential for tourism and tourist related activities is huge and as such tourism is a major factor in the case to open Gilsland Station.

"Anyone who walks the Hadrian's Wall or Pennine Way, cycles in the area on or off road or just explores would be delighted."

Council leaders met for the first time this year in Carlisle last week to discuss the Borderlands Growth Deal.

David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, and Jake Berry, the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth Minister, also attended the meeting.

Mr Mundell said: "We are continuing to make good progress towards a Borderlands Growth Deal, which has the potential to transform the economy of the whole region, creating jobs and increasing prosperity.

"We had a productive meeting with the five Borderlands local authority partners.

"I was impressed with their enthusiasm for, and the energy behind, creating a transformative deal.

"We will continue to work closely with the Borderlands partners to work up the detail of their proposals."

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 22, 2018
Words:479
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