Lancashire Visitor Centre floated for the first time

March 28th, 2011


History will be made this week at Brockholes nature reserve, just off junction 31 in Lancashire, as the newly constructed Visitor Village will be floated for the first time.

Brockholes is a new Lancashire Wildlife Trust nature reserve, which is being launched this Easter Sunday. The floating Visitor Village, designed by Adam Khan Architects, is the first of its kind in the UK.
Ian Selby, Project Manager said: “It will take two days to complete the process; water will be slowly pumped in from another lake on site and will need to be carefully monitored.

The floating process will see one side raise first, we will then need to level this out using ballast. We expect to see the first movements from the South West corner of the Visitor Village at around lunchtime on Tuesday (29th) with the floating process complete by around 5pm that day.”

The Visitor Village, which has been awarded a BREEAM Outstanding for the interim design stage (a measure of the building’s environmental performance), will include an education and interpretation area, a shop, children’s play area and conference facilities. There will also be a restaurant providing stunning views across the reserve and serving a selection of Lancashire’s finest produce.

Alongside other partners, including Natural England, Tubney Charitable Trust and the Lancashire Environmental Fund, the project has received £8.6 million investment from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) under the Forestry Commission-led regeneration programme ‘Newlands’. It is intended that once the wetland opens to the public it will become a self-funding attraction.

Nick Brooks-Sykes, Director of Tourism at the NWDA, commented: “I’m delighted to see the Visitor Centre afloat. This magnificent attraction is a welcome addition to the tourism offer of the Northwest and one which has truly national and international appeal. I’m looking forward to seeing it really realise its full potential.”

The unique visitor village was designed by Adam Khan Architects, supported by Price & Myers and Max Fordham and Jackson Coles. Constructed by Mansell Construction.

It is hoped that the reserve will attract over 250,000 people annually from across the UK. It will also provide a valuable resource for local communities to use, encouraging healthy, active lifestyles and increasing interaction with the natural environment.

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