TORRIDGE District Council has approved plans for a new learning centre at RHS Garden Rosemoor, Torrington. The new centre will enable the UK's leading garden charity to extend learning opportunities to people across the region. The RHS education team c

TORRIDGE District Council has approved plans for a new learning centre at RHS Garden Rosemoor, Torrington. The new centre will enable the UK's leading garden charity to extend learning opportunities to people across the region. The RHS education team currently teaches 3,500 primary school children a year. The learning centre will provide facilities for more than 6,000 primary pupils each year as well as secondary school children, adults and families. The new building will cost just under £1million, half of which is being met with a £500,000 grant from Devon County Council from its Investing in Devon fund. The RHS is now launching a major fund-raising campaign for the remaining amount. Devon County Council Chairman and Torrington county councillor John Rawlinson said: "I am delighted that the county council has been able to provide a major contribution for this exciting and highly relevant project."We want Devon to become Britain's greenest county and we can best make this happen by ensuring our children and Devon's future citizens have a respect for their natural environment and know how to protect and enhance it. "But as many of us seek a simpler and more sustainable life. This new centre will also provide the opportunity for them to learn about growing their own food and helping to cut down on food miles and to experience the pleasure of gardening. "The major injection of cash into the local Torrington economy will also benefit our construction workers and their suppliers in these credit crunch times so this is an excellent initiative on many fronts." The building, designed by Devon-based ecological architects Gale and Snowdon, will link the main garden with the woodland area. It will contain two indoor classrooms, educational facilities, an outdoor covered area for activities and a teaching garden in the woodland clearing.The ecologically friendly design includes natural ventilation and lighting and wood fuelled heating. Construction is scheduled to begin in July with completion due in early 2010. Jill Cherry, Director of Gardens and Estates at the RHS said: "We are delighted that planning permission has been granted and construction can begin on this inspiring new learning centre. It will provide a great resource for people to learn about the environment and gardening in the midst of this beautiful Devon landscape.