Northam Burrows Visitor Centre project
Details of the Northam Burrows Visitor Centre remodelling, completed in July 2021.
The new Northam Burrows Visitor Centre, located just a stone's throw from the award winning Blue Flag beach at Westward Ho! in Torridge, replaces a much older building, which had undergone little change, since its original installation in 1984. Clad in larch wood the multiple wings of the centre have been designed to nestle discreetly into the surrounding dunes with a Café offering far reaching views to Lundy Island from the raised outdoor seating areas, and glass fronted interiors.
The wider facilities also boast an exhibition centre with mini-aquarium and displays of local wildlife, historic landscapes, and innovative interactive digital sections with a hands on approach for children to tap into and support visitors to not only understand the wonders of the Burrows and local history but also appreciate the threats to the area presented by sea level rises and climate change.
The Pebble Ridge Kitchen Café, run by the owners of the Royal George in Appledore, have already settled into their new home, serving up local produce and refreshments.
A new and much needed accessible Changing Places Facility for people with disabilities has also been provided as part of a new services block. Office and meeting room accommodation for the rangers and partner organisations are now airy, bright and better insulated against the Atlantic weather this part of the coast sometimes experiences. At the same time materials have been reused where possible or upgraded to better insulation properties to add to the overarching green environmental approach adopted for the project, with an estimated saving of 3.6 tons of carbon per year.
The facilities at the centre will help educate the next generations of visitors and also offer a more modern level of comfort and refreshment for locals and tourists alike. For more information about events and opening hours or to book please click Business Rates
Staycationers are already re-discovering the beauty of Westward Ho! beach and the centre will be an important part of that offering and anchor for the local tourism industry- supported by a commitment to support Nature Tourism across the region as part of the centre's funding.
The Centre has been funded by £1.2M from the Governments Coastal Communities Fund and £400K from the Getting Building Fund with Torridge Officers providing the project management element of the build. The bids for funding were facilitated and supported by Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Council's Economic partners, North Devon+.