Development plans for new visitor centre

Calvert Trust

16 February 2012

Ambitious plans for a £10 million development at the leading outdoor activity centre for disabled and able- bodied people in the North East have been submitted for planning permission.

The proposals, being considered by Northumberland County Council, are for extensive additions and alterations to the Calvert Trust centre in Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland.

They include a visitor hub with state-of-the-art climbing wall, caving system, bouldering wall, a café and offices, a sports hall, a woodchip biomass district heating system and landscaping, outdoor activities, including a high ropes walk way and the necessary infrastructure works.

It also includes plans for five new fully accessible self-catering cabins to add to the 10 cabins already available on the site which is close to Kielder Water, northern Europe’s largest man-made reservoir.

Once planning approval in principle has been given, the Trust will forge ahead to raise the necessary funding to undertake the development in staged phases.

Peter Cockerill, Calvert Trust Chief Executive, said: “Calvert Trust at Kielder has been providing challenging outdoor activities for people of all abilities for more than 25 years and these exciting new plans will lay the foundations for growth over the next 25 years.”

The development will benefit people with a wide range and degree of disability with some of the facilities open to Day visitors. It will also attract families with a disabled parent or child along with their able-bodied friends; charitable organisations working with people with disabilities; adults with care needs seeking a break on their own; special needs schools and mainstream schools, many of whom have disabled pupils.

Peter Cockerill added: “This development is another step on the road to fully realising our vision – ‘disability no limits’.

“Calvert Trust Kielder gives people with disabilities the chance to realise their full potential and to break down the barriers that prevent this.

“The project will enable thousands more to benefit from our work and greatly enhance the quality of the unique service we offer.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our many friends and benefactors from the North East and throughout the country, for their help and support in the past and to ask for their further support to make this project a reality.”

These plans form part of the overall development of Kielder Water & Forest Park.

“Elisabeth Rowark, director of Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust said: “The plans look amazing - a new visitor hub will be a welcome addition to the existing facilities across Kielder Water & Forest Park. Over the past few years, new additions such as mountain bike trails and the Lakeside Way have contributed to making the Park a world class visitor destination.

As a key member of the Development Trust, Calvert Trust Kielder’s plans will be a key component of that growing offer and I am delighted to see more and more businesses in the area creating sustainable year-round attractions.”

Planning application was submitted to Northumberland CC 0n 15/02/2012

Calvert Trust Kielder’s aim is to enable people with disabilities, together with their family and friends, to achieve their potential through the challenge of outdoor adventure in the countryside.

The centre based in Kielder Water & Forest Park, has provided opportunities for disabled and able-bodied people to enjoy outdoor activities for over 25 years. Each year over 5,000 people visit the centre representing over 20,000 bednights.

Media calls to Linda Squire 01434 250232 - Website

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