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Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
7m boost for Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland
Hadrian's Wall is more than 70 miles long
Hadrian's Wall is to receive 7m to boost tourism around the ancient ruins.

The cash is part of a plan to help the site's recovery from the foot-and-mouth crisis.

Visitor numbers to the rural Roman forts dropped by 38% during the epidemic, and 80% of farms within the World Heritage Site and its surroundings had their livestock destroyed.

Hadrian's Wall, which stretches from Newcastle to the Solway Firth in Cumbria, is widely recognised as the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire.

It attracts an average of about 1.25m visitors a year, 500,000 of whom go to the 10 museums and forts which are open to the public.


Our responsibility is to ensure that the wall and its setting are protected, enjoyed and, where possible, enhanced

Dr Simon Thurley, English Heritage

Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: "It is not just a pile of stones but representative of one of the greatest civilisations the world has known.

"It is a World Heritage Site, which puts it on a par with the Pyramids, and one thing we have to ensure we do is preserve it.

"Hadrian's Wall isn't just a wall, it's a complex of forts, temples, turrets, museums, exhibitions and reconstructions that bring the frontier to life.

"The remains of the wall, lying in an outstanding landscape of national and international significance, are a world-famous visitor attraction.

"Our responsibility is to ensure that the wall and its setting are protected, enjoyed and, where possible, enhanced for future generations."

Plan benefits

Hadrian's Wall was made a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987.

It is the most complex and best preserved frontier of the Roman Empire, and stretches more than 70 miles across rugged countryside.

The main sites to benefit from the plan are Chesters Roman Fort, a preserved example of a cavalry fort, and Housesteads Roman Fort, which is accepted as the most complete Roman fort in Britain.

Bewcastle
Bewcastle ruins will benefit from the cash

There will also be a new youth hostel and visitor centre within the Northumberland National Park at Once Brewed.

Repairs are also being carried out at Bewcastle, which was partially damaged in the 17th century after the Civil War and whose last recorded repairs were undertaken in the 15th Century by Richard, Duke of York, later Richard III.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said: "Hadrian's Wall is one of the country's most famous landmarks...

"It is a tangible reminder of the significant impact which Roman occupation had on this country."

English Heritage worked with 50 organisations over two years to finalise the plan, and also conducted a four-month public consultation.


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24 Sep 02 | England
12 Sep 02 | England
25 Jun 02 | England
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