Betteshanger Sustainable Park
Betteshanger Sustainable Park
Construction has started at Betteshanger Country Park on the new 2,000sqm Green Energy Visitor Centre.
The £7.5m new sustainable centre, near Deal, will include the Kent Mining Museum and Green Energy Centre, alongside other facilities such as a cycling centre, conference and event facilities, a restaurant and upgraded outdoor play equipment.
The Hadlow Group is leading and managing the Betteshanger Sustainable Parks development, and the new visitor centre is the first phase of their ambitious project. The managing contractor acting on behalf of Hadlow College is Kent-based contractor Marpaul Ltd, and it is hoped that many more local companies will secure contracts now that the tendering process is underway.
Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Group Director of Finance and Resources at Hadlow Group said:
“This marks the next exciting phase of our plans to create an eco-tourism and leisure destination for East Kent as part of the wider Betteshanger Sustainable Parks project and is the culmination of seven years of development and commitment.
“At the heart of the project is a celebration of the area’s mining community, making the connection between our energy needs of the past and the role of green energy production in the future.
“Using local suppliers, contractors and consultants means we maximise the impact of the project for the local economy and keep the environmental footprint of the project as small as possible, which is fundamental to what we are seeking to achieve at Betteshanger Sustainable Parks.”
The visitor centre will be constructed to high energy performance standards and will generate energy through a biomass boiler and a photovoltaic solar array. As it will be of passive design, it will minimise its energy usage and aims to have an ‘Excellent’ BREAAM rating and one of the lowest EPC ratings nationally.
Richard Morsley, Director at Betteshanger Sustainable Parks, said: “We currently welcome over 50,000 visitors a year to the Country Park and we are extremely excited about what we will be able to provide for them in the future. The Park will remain open throughout the works but we ask our visitors to bear with us while we improve the facilities.
“Hoardings have been erected to ensure the public’s safety during the construction process and the current Visitor Centre will remain open until the new one is completed. This is a big project and there will be some disruption but hopefully fewer visitors will be affected as we are beginning work in the winter months.”
The second phase of the Betteshanger Sustainable Parks development, is the Betteshanger Business Park which will provide world class research and development opportunities, a home for green technology businesses, and jobs and training for young people.
To find out more, visit www.betteshangerparks.co.uk.
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