Work is taking shape between Ashfield District Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and partners on the development of a project centred around Kings Mill Reservoir to preserve and promote for future generations.
Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council last year secured £121,000 from National Lottery players for the King and Miller to Kingfisher scheme to enhance the historic site’s sustainability and visitor experience.
Proposed plans for the all-new visitor centre at Kings Mill Reservoir have now been revealed to the public. An architect – Guy Taylor Associates – was appointed to develop the plans to transform the existing visitor café into an all-purpose facility.
The new look visitors centre will increase seating capacity within the café, create a backdrop of the history of the site and frame the views of the reservoir from the café to improve the visitor experience.
Elsewhere, current scheme elements include looking at plans to restore the viaduct on site, looking at dredging strategies and silt deposit management and ecological survey work. A second stage Heritage Lottery Fund bid follows in early 2018 that will seek funding to implement the proposals.
A ranger is also set to be appointed to work with volunteers on the site and there has been engagement with schools, heritage societies and dementia awareness groups to hear their views on the reservoir in the future and to explore volunteering opportunities.
Nottinghamshire County Council Leader Councillor Kay Cutts said: “This exciting project will enhance the visitor experience and protect wildlife at Kings Mill Reservoir and we are very pleased with the progress that is taking place as we invest in this popular reservoir and historic site.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Our Mill Adventure Base is already popular with school pupils and young people’s groups and this scheme can help us to attract more visitors including families to explore what the area has to offer.”
Ideas which could be explored by the outdoor and environmental education team at the Mill Adventure Base could include Accessible Cycle hire, water-based taster activities such as canoeing for groups and families, and increasing the availability of both the Climbing Wall and artificial caving opportunities, school holiday activity breaks and one-night residential stays.
Councillor Cheryl Butler, Leader of Ashfield District Council commented: “With such fantastic participation in the summer consultation programme, we can already see this is a project our residents are fully supporting and getting excited about. Providing something for everyone, the plans for the new visitor centre can only build on this excitement.”
Mansfield District Council Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Cllr Andrew Tristram, said: “Kings Mill Reservoir is an important visitor attraction for both local authorities – a key location for walking and trails that connect the site to our towns and recreational spaces.”