THE future of a world-famous tourist attraction in Tynedale has been secured thanks to support from a high street bank

The Vindolanda Trust, which manages and carries out archaeological research at the Roman fort of the same name on Hadrian’s Wall, has secured a £300,000 business loan with Lloyds Bank.

The money will keep the trust financially secure in the short term, allowing it to safeguard the future of the sites and the museum.

Dr Andrew Birley, CEO and director of excavations at The Vindolanda Trust, said: “Our income relies on people visiting us, especially tourists from abroad.

“When the outbreak began and the travel ban was imposed, we knew our cash flow would be heavily impacted. This is normally our busiest time of the year but we’ve been forced to close our doors until it’s safe to reopen.

“Thanks to Lloyds Bank, we now know that we can continue our excavation work once the lockdown is lifted and welcome back visitors to learn about this important time in our history.

“Our core team is working hard to maintain our sites and map our pathway out of this challenging situation.

“With this additional funding, we have the peace of mind knowing that we now have the cash flow in place to cover overheads and begin operations again quickly when restrictions begin to ease.”

It comes after the closure of both the trust’s sites and the museum in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

Paul Watson, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “The finance secured by the Vindolanda Trust will help to see it through the unprecedented challenges in the weeks and month ahead.

“The trust works to support a historical site of global importance and protecting sites like this is essential if we want to continue learning about our history.

“This is a great example of a business working through the crisis so it can continue its great work in the heritage sector that benefits the education of people far and wide.”