Personal Finance

Following criticism of £8.5 million loan, Duchess of Northumberland outlines plans for elf village

The Duchess of Northumberland has defended council plans to offer Alnwick Garden a £8.5m loan for a “play structure for elves”.

Northumberland County Council intended to lend the sum to the Duchess of Northumberland’s Alnwick Garden for a huge new play area, designed to bring tourists to Northumberland all year round.

The Duchess spoke of her ambitious plan alongside Steven Mason, chief executive of Northumberland County Council, and Mark Brassell, director of The Alnwick Gardens, at the Treehouse restaurant.

If the loan is granted, Lilidorei Play Village would be built in a small settlement set within a forest clearing, with an “unearthly, quirky and magical atmosphere”.

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