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Visitor centre plan for top park is unveiled

Plans: Park manager Jim Longbottom with the area planned for a new visitor centre

Plans: Park manager Jim Longbottom with the area planned for a new visitor centre

A major fundraising drive to raise cash for a new visitor centre in one of Lancashire’s most popular parks has been launched.

Trustees at Cuerden Valley Park in Bamber Bridge, near Preston, want to build their own centre for park visitors, complete with a cafe, toilets and educational space to be used by schools.

It is estimated the Cuerden Valley Park Trust needs to raise between £250,000 and £300,000 for the project and they will be fundraising throughout this year and hope to be in a position to start building by 2015.

The park already has a visitor centre based in The Barn, but the premises is shared with the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside.

Park manager Jim Longbottom said it is hoped the building could be self-built by volunteers using timber from the park and straw.

Because the park is a charity the trustees are always looking at ways to bring in money and think a cafe open all week would really help.

He said: “People should support this scheme as it will be a focal point for visitors.

“With our own centre we will be able to run a teashop through the week, not just at weekends, and additional activities for adults and children.

“More school children will benefit from educational visits and there will be lots more opportunities for people to get involved.

“The extra income generated from all of these will definitely help the Park’s financial situation.”

Jim added: “We are looking at doing ‘sponsor a bale’ and we are looking to talk to some of the local building companies to see if they to get apprentices involved.”

The trustees held a consultation on the idea in November and Jim said the response was “very positive.”

If you are able to support the scheme or offer help, telephone 01772 324436 and ask for Jim.

 

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