New Lancashire Visitor Attraction

8 January 2010

Work Begins on Innovative New Lancashire Visitor Attraction

Work has commenced on the landmark floating visitors centre at Brockholes, off Junction 31 of the M6. The designs by Adam Khan, chosen through a RIBA competition, are set to provide Lancashire with a new landmark that will attract visitors from all over the UK.

The building has been designed to be carbon neutral, both in construction and operation, and, by floating on the main lake at the reserve, will provide visitors with a “close to nature” feeling unrivalled in the country. The building is also aspiring to earn an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM Award (the environmental assessment for buildings around the world), which would make Brockholes the only site in the UK to achieve this status.

Brockholes is being created by a partnership of Lancashire Wildlife Trust, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the Forestry Commission, as part of the Newlands land regeneration programme.

The funders will be investing around £8.8million into Brockholes, to transform the site into a major new wetland and woodland visitor attraction, with a wealth of habitats extending over 106ha (including lakes, reed beds, flower-rich grassland and a connection to 66ha of adjacent semi-natural ancient woodland), while the floating visitor centre will provide a fantastic self-financing regional environmental showcase.

With ambitious plans to create a natural adventure for visitors, Brockholes is set to attract around 250,000 visitors to Lancashire each year. The site will showcase the best of the region, from local produce to local wildlife.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust, who own the site, are now working with the Forestry Commission to realise these ambitious plans.

Anne Selby, Chief Executive of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said:

“The start of work at Brockholes is a momentous occasion for us and for the region as a whole, and it comes at an appropriate time, almost exactly three years on from our purchase of the site. We have worked hard since then to get to this stage and look forward to continuing towards our goal, which is a natural adventure that brings wildlife to everyone and can inspire, educate and entertain all at the same time.”

Adam Khan, the architect who developed the iconic designs, said:

”We are really excited – the client has been incredibly supportive of a fairly radical concept, and the design has got stronger as it has developed into a fully worked out proposal. We based our design on visitor experience and some very practical aspects – flooding etc. It’s nice that many of the

design moves turn out to be extremely practical and poetic at the same time.”

Richard Tracey, Head of Environmental Quality at the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), said:

"Brockholes is an important site for the region and a flagship for the Newlands programme. It is a prime example of how the natural environment can be harnessed to create economic activity.  Not only will Brockholes enhance the positive perception for the area, it will also provide a distinctive visitor attraction creating new jobs on the site, offering a well managed green space for local people that will influence future investment for the area.”

Keith Jones, Northwest Regional Director for the Forestry Commission, said:

"We look forward to seeing this innovative project (which is a regional and national exemplar) emerge over the next few months. We will continue to work closely with Lancashire Wildlife Trust and NWDA to ensure that the development of the whole site continues at the same pace. Brockholes will become an exciting new wetland and woodland nature reserve and visitor centre that everyone can enjoy; a showcase for the very best that Lancashire and the North West has to offer." 

END

Lindsey Poole,

Marketing and Communications Manager,

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside.

lpoole@lancswt.org.uk

01772 318 373

James Ellaby

Communications Officer

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside.

jellaby@lancswt.org.uk

01772 318 373

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