Grass roof wins it for curling centre

Exciting: Philip Thornton
Exciting: Philip Thornton
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Futuristic plans drawn up by architecture and design practice Etc Urban have been approved for a grass-roofed £6m leisure development in Lancashire.

The studio, which has offices in Preston, Manchester and London, designed the vision for the new development for Barton Grange Garden Centre, near Preston, which has now been approved by Wyre Council.

As well as housing only the second curling rink in England, the Etc Urban plans include a cinema, tenpin bowling, a diner-style restaurant, fish and chip restaurant and an ice cream bar and coffee shop.

The ‘Flower Bowl’ will also include a shop where people can buy and hire kayaks to use on the nearby Lancaster Canal. Etc Urban’s designs for the development at Brock are for a single-storey building with an undulating eco-friendly grass roof, which might eventually have sheep grazing on it.

Philip Thornton, Etc Urban architectural director, said: “This is a project that will bring exciting new entertainment and leisure facilities to the area as well as creating much-needed new jobs.

“The design brief is for quality premium facilities for visitors to enjoy, including the curling rink, which will introduce the sport to a whole new audience in the north of England.

“Barton Grange is committed to a curling centre of excellence based in Lancashire, which may even uncover some future British Olympians.

“Throughout the design process we have worked to develop a sustainable, eco-friendly building that is in keeping with the rural nature of the area.”

Work on site is expected to begin later this year, with the development opening to the public in 2017.