World's biggest play sculpture opens in Northumberland
25 May 2023
A magical children’s play park, the largest of its kind in the world, has opened at the Alnwick Garden.
Lilidorei was conceived by the Duchess of Northumberland and has received funding from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
The £15million project has created 50 new jobs and will be an all year round destination for the region.
The attraction is set around three towers aligned to a mythical theme conceived as part of an Elf Kingdom. Visitors will be able to explore adventure pathways, catwalks and tunnel slides, as well as a range of roofed and elevated structures.
The play area is imaginative, complex and dynamic, aiming to challenge children and adults alike, inspiring them as they investigate and have fun.
Lilidorei is the second major project supported by the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal to open in Northumberland and aims to emulate the early success of the Ad Gefrin museum and distillery.
The Deal’s main objective is to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic benefits across the North of England and South of Scotland over the ten years of the programme. Both Lilidorei and Ad Gefrin were awarded funding from the initiative to create jobs and bring visitors to the region.
The play park was officially opened by Jane Percy, Duchess of Northumberland, who said: “Lilidorei has lived in my imagination for the past 12 years and I am delighted to bring my creative vision to life. “We want to encourage children away from screens and into this magical giant playground where their imaginations can run wild.”
Cllr Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council and Borderlands Partnership Board Member, said: “The Duchess wanted to bring some magic to Northumberland through Lilidorei and the result looks truly magical.
"Alnwick is already an important location for tourism and this development is sure to attract more visitors to the town and the county. It is also fantastic to see another Borderlands supported project through to completion, demonstrating that we are delivering on our promises to create jobs and drive growth.”
Dehenna Davison MP, Levelling Up Minister, said: “I am delighted to see our ambitious plan to level up the Borderlands region come to life with the opening of a fantastic new visitor attraction in Alnwick.
“Our £5.5 million investment in this exciting project will see Lilidorei create new local jobs, activities for local children and bring even more tourists to the local area.
“This is part of a huge £452 million investment from the UK Government, Scottish Government and partners through the Borderlands Growth Deal to grow the local economy and transform communities across the Borderlands and beyond.”