A NORTH Tyne tourist attraction is in line for a major revamp in a drive to attract more visitors.

The Forestry England has submitted a planning permission to Northumberland County Council to refurbish the Grade II listed Kielder Castle.

As part of the application, the organisation would improve the existing cafe, create a larger art gallery space, develop a cycle hub, create new holiday and staff accommodation, and demolish and rebuild the east wing courtyard extension.

In its application, Forestry England explained the reasons behind the application.

It read: “Kielder Castle is a valuable asset which must be brought back into public prominence.

“Renovation works are required to safeguard the future of the listed asset by providing a viable use for building.

“This will ensure that the building does not fall into unsalvageable dilapidation.”

Kielder Castle was built in 1755, but underwent a radical rebuild around 1867, reportedly under the instructions from the 4th Duke of Northumberland.

The Duke sold the estate to the Forestry Commission in 1932, and the castle was transformed into a vistor centre in the 1980s to cater for the increased number of tourists. To ensure it remained a visitor attraction for years to come Forestry England, as it is now known, wants to stabilise the building.

The report continued: “The building does not appear in immediate structural peril. However, the decades of under-use and general neglect are clearly evident.

“The building will require prompt attention to ensure the continued structural stability.”