Refurbishment of the education centre at Rushcliffe Country Park is now complete with the new facility now open with a new café, upgraded visitors’ centre, bookable conference room, improved landscaping and toilet facilities.
In line with Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Carbon Clever programme, it is the first phase of a series of sustainable developments at the park in line with key themes identified in last year’s park users’ survey.
Coffee and Cake by the lake is the site’s new café concession hosting a wide selection of teas, coffees, cakes and hot and cold light bites including healthy option foods and soups, paninis, toasted sandwiches, pasta pots and ice cream.
The bookable conference room boasts integrated guest wi-fi, digital display screen and polycom device to enable video conferencing and a fully adaptable meeting space up to 30 people.
An ideal venue for SME business away days, education providers and environmental groups or talks and general community activity groups.
The visitors’ centre atrium is now home to an interactive touch screen history of the park, developed in conjunction with the Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park, charting its history and development over time.
The council is also delighted to have received grant funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for a new changing place toilet facility in the centre, allowing park users with mobility challenges to change at the site more easily, ensuring even greater access for those with profound and multiple disabilities.
It was also supported by third party match funding by the Friends group’s fundraising activities in the park.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Debbie Mason and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change Cllr Abby Brennan met Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park chairperson Ann Towle and Park Manager Alastair Glenn to view the new facilities at an opening event today(Wednesday).
Cllr Brennan said: “These are exciting new facilities that will attract even more numbers to our wonderful park and we were very pleased to work with the Friends of the Park to ensure they were shaped with their members’ views in mind.
“Greener and more accessible and contemporary facilities mean even more people can enjoy the park, its features and surroundings, we know how many local people and visitors from further afield love its setting.
“The environment is a key priority for us and it’s fitting one of our flagship parks leads by example with ever more sustainable changes that will benefit all.”
The changes have also seen installation of solar panels and an air source heat pump at the park which will supply sustainable energy to the new visitors’ centre and follows decommissioning of the Park’s less effective wind turbines and biomass boiler last year.
A relocated workshop has also enabled improved landscaping of the park to allow groups and families an even safer environment near to the new facilities.
Ann added: “It’s wonderful the park’s focus continues to be ever greener and our volunteers have been supportive of these developments.
“The café, upgraded visitors centre and conference room and new toilets are warmly welcomed and I am sure will be appreciated by thousands of visitors from near and far.”