Ambitious plans for a £10m development at the leading outdoor activity centre for disabled and able-bodied people in the North East of England re one step closer to fruition.
Planning permission was granted by Northumberland County Council for extensive additions and alterations to the Calvert Trust centre in Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland.
The Trust will now forge ahead to raise the necessary funding to undertake the development in staged phases. Peter Cockerill, Calvert Trust Kielder Chief Executive, said “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our many friends and benefactors from the North East and throughout the country, for their support in helping us to reach this milestone. Now we must ask for their further support to make this project a reality.”
“The project will enable thousands more to benefit from our work and greatly enhance the quality of the unique service we offer. Calvert Trust at Kielder has been providing challenging outdoor activities for people of all abilities for more than 25 years and the realisation of these exciting new plans will lay the foundations for growth over the next 25 years.”
Architects Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall (JDDK) Ltd created the plans which 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.
To meet the increased demand for self-catering accommodation, the plans include five new fully accessible 4* 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.
The development will benefit people with a wide range and degree of disability with some of the facilities open to day visitors to the park. 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.
“Calvert Trust Kielder gives people of all abilities, but especially those with disabilities, the chance to realise their full potential and take part in adventurous activities just like everyone else.”
Working in close conjunction with the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, who see the facility as an important part of their ‘Big Picture’ vision to become a world class destination, the scheme will also include landscaping by Glen Kemp and the involvement of artists Heather and Ivan Morison, who have been working with the design team from the inception of the project.
“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 founder 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.”
If you would like to support us please visit www.calvert-trust.org.uk/