Successful bid secures funding for New Northam Burrows Centre Building

2 April, 2019

The Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government has announced that Torridge is to receive £1.2M towards the building of a new interpretation and activity hub on Northam Burrows following the Council's submission of a bid for money from the Coastal Communities Fund.

Northam Burrows is a unique and protected country park and the home of many rare species of birds, animals and plants which has earned it the designation of a "Site of Special Scientific Interest" (SSSI) also forming part of North Devon's UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This special combination of wildlife and stunning scenery already attracts around 300,000 visitors a year who come to enjoy and reconnect with nature. Although much used by Torridge residents the Burrows is also an important anchor in the local tourism industry benefitting many businesses in and around the area.

The new year-round centre will continue this legacy but will add many new features to the existing but now outdated facilities. The new set-up will include exhibition spaces, a café and shop with fantastic views out onto the surrounding scenery, flexible space for community events, beach user facilities such as outdoor showers and lockers as well as viewing platforms connecting people to the environment in all weathers. The building will also provide a base for the park rangers who manage the area providing guided tours for visitors and school groups as well as undertaking important conservation and general maintenance work, and as a base for the AONB and Biosphere Reserve teams for their environmental protection work. The new centre will also provide disabled access and parking which is not currently available. The total cost of the project is budgeted at £2.1M with the balance of the match funding already agreed and in place.

The innovative design for the new building also includes a range of environmental technologies including high levels of insulation, natural ventilation, air source heat pumps, and grey water recycling to name just a few. These are all designed to reduce any environmental impact and to maintain this during its operation in the coming years.