Exmoor National Park Authority is hoping new visitor centre based on old building will be open by spring next year.

BARNSTAPLE company Morgan Sindall has been appointed as principal contractor for the redevelopment of Lynmouth Pavilion.

The project is part of Exmoor National park Authority’s £1.2 million bid to provide a state of the art attraction to benefit tourism and businesses for years to come.

It received a boost recently when the National Park received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) of development funding of £23,500 to help progress plans for a full grant of up to £250,000.

The application was in competition with other projects, so a ‘first-round pass’ is an endorsement of outline proposals. It now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals, although the Authority plans to submit its plans this autumn.

“We are getting to an exciting phase of the project and I am delighted we have been able to award the contract to a local firm,” said Tim Braund of the national park.

“This project has only been able to come about thanks to the generous support of Devon County Council’s ‘Invest in Devon’ fund and the National Park Authority is also contributing more than £500,000 to the redevelopment.”

The Pavilion building on the seafront at Lynmouth dates back to the 1930s.

Its condition means that it will have to be demolished and this work is planned for October. Construction will then begin on a new sustainable building in the same 1930s design.

Elements of the old building will be removed and reused, including the steel roof and decorative steel brackets to the balcony and it is anticipated the centre will be open in spring of next year.