Grant funding will enable extension of quay visitor centre.

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FREMINGTON Quay visitor centre looks set to be expanded in the new year after receiving a £130,000 grant.

Parish council chairman Rodney Cann said it was ‘full steam ahead’ for phase two of the quay project, which will see the creation of new exhibition space plus facilities for educational and community use.

Mr Cann was the driving force behind a £750,000 project in 2001 which saw the derelict former freight port and railway station site restored to create the existing café, heritage centre, walks and cycle paths.

Money for the new extension will come from Devon Waste under the ‘landfill tax’ scheme operated by regulatory body ENTRUST. Fremington Parish Council will put in £5,000, with a request for a further £13,000 about to go before North Devon Council.

When the café opened in 2006, it soon became obvious more space was needed for the exhibition side of things, to tell the story of what was once the second busiest port along the Bristol Channel, as well as its environment and wildlife.

The new build will enable the quay Environment Group to continue gathering stories and images, and a venue for talks and other activities.

“The quay has been one of North Devon’s success stories, but we anticipate engaging with more local schools and the community, being able to show off our local heritage, which we are very proud of,” said Mr Cann.

Alison Mills, museums development manager, added: “This is great timing because we are working with North Devon Biosphere to create new displays for the centre as part of the Heritage Lottery funded ‘Life’s Journey’ project, and we can now plan for the expanded centre at the same time.”

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