Plans for an interactive Viking settlement in the Isle of Man are progressing.
Chris Hall, who is behind the idea, says he is in the process of contacting businesses to ask for contributions.
He said: ‘Up until now I’ve been paying for everything out of my own pocket, which isn’t sustainable.
‘I will be approaching companies and asking if they would like to contribute to the costs of building the settlement.’
The Sandygate Viking Project for education and entertainment purposes received unanimous support from the planning committee last summer.
It will offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience the island’s history, with Mr Hall intending to run it as a non-profit project with self-employed craftspeople providing interactive workshops.
‘I’m starting the groundwork now,’ Mr Hall, who works in technology, said.
‘But later on in construction we’ll need various materials as well as people’s time.
‘Businesses will be able to sponsor a number of elements within the project and a volunteer programme will be launched soon when it’s closer to being up and running..
He added: ‘It will be very much about sparking passions in people and helping them to learn more skills, like wood carving for example.’
As of now, Mr Hall explained the planned ‘longhouse site’ is currently a polytunnel and work needs to be done.
He couldn’t give a timescale as to when construction could be finished but he hopes volunteers can get involved in building from spring 2024.
In his application he said that the craftspeople would include a trained blacksmith who would show how Vikings created their tools and weapons, while a Chieftain’s hall would be used as a classroom that can host indoor activities in the event of bad weather.
His plans expand to a wooded area where he intends to stage more interactive workshops and displays in keeping with the Viking theme, as well as a temple/church that would explore the Vikings’ relationship with their gods.
The final public section detailed in the application is an area called ‘FolkVangr’ (field of the people), Mr Hall explained was an ‘alternative heaven’ for those who didn’t wish to dine in Valhalla, ruled over by the Goddess Freyr. He hopes to re-create an authentic Viking farmstead with a store barn and small holding pen for animals.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Hall said he had been dreaming of building such a settlement since 2012 and wants visitors to ‘step back over 1,000 years’.
Vikings first reached the island at the end of the eighth century, originally to plunder it, before conquering the island by the end of the ninth century. During this period the island fell under the rule of the Scandinavian Kings of Dublin.
The island changed hands several times over the next century before being conquered by Godred Covan, legend refers to him by another name, King Orry.