The new year has brought new activity on Northam Burrows as work begins on the complete refurbishment of the old Visitor Centre and installation of a new café alongside the original building. The 14-week project is being undertaken by Pearce Construction who have been awarded a Considerate Constructor’s Certificate for their operations and work.
The most obvious and striking progress to date has been the removal of the existing roof alongside the removal of turf in front of the centre as work commenced on the levelling of the area where the modular café building will be installed. The very first job was to cut and roll the turf and move it to a temporary location where it will continue to grow until the building works are finished. The original turf will then be reinstated to continue growing around the centre once more at the end of the project.
In line with the environmentally friendly approach to the build as many materials as possible are being recycled. The salvaged materials include roof slates, LED strip lights, hand dryers, emergency lights, a hearing loop machine, a baby change table and a selection of sockets and network points. Many of these items will be reused for replacements and repairs on other Council properties.
As well as reinsulating the old centre to bring it up to modern standards the interior layout will also be updated. An important part of this is the addition of a fully accessible “Changing Places” room which will provide the enhanced space and equipment for people who cannot use standard toilet facilities and another much needed specialist facility for visitors to the Burrows. The changed layout will also allow for a separate teaching area alongside the main exhibition space which will be available to the many school groups that visit for environmental education sessions with the park rangers.