Final tyre laid at Newstead centre

NMAC11-1317-5'Newtead Primary School pupils Aron Haywood and Dana-Elise Moore help volunteers Mark Waterhouse, Rob Milliken and Chelsea Harris, along with Merriman project manager, Mike Bailey and contracts manager Christy Merriman, position the last tyre into the Earth Centre's wall made up of earth-filled re-cycled tyres.

NMAC11-1317-5'Newtead Primary School pupils Aron Haywood and Dana-Elise Moore help volunteers Mark Waterhouse, Rob Milliken and Chelsea Harris, along with Merriman project manager, Mike Bailey and contracts manager Christy Merriman, position the last tyre into the Earth Centre's wall made up of earth-filled re-cycled tyres.

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YOUNGSTERS from Newstead Primary School visited Newstead and Annesley Country Park on Friday where they put the final tyre in place on the Earth Centre wall.

Aron Haywood and Dana-Elise Moore, pictured centre, joined volunteers to position the last earth-filled, recycled tyre in the unique wall which forms part of the site’s new ‘Earthship’ visitor centre.

Around 1,200 donated vehicle tyres were used in the wall which was designed by award-winning architect Anthony Thistleton-Smith.

Work on the tyre wall began in March and this week, Mr Thistleton-Smith praised the volunteers.

He said: “There has generally been a huge amount of enthusiasm from the community and beyond.”

The youngsters were invited to the centre by the project’s main contractors Merrimans.

Mike Bailey, who is project manager at Merrimans, said: “We have been privileged to work on this unique project and it seems fitting that we have included youngsters who represent the future and older volunteers who have been representative of the community’s industrial past,”

The new visitor centre is thought to be one of the largest tyre walls of its kind in the world and the building will also boast an earth roof to reduce water run-off along with special triple glazing, thermal insulation and low energy light bulbs and appliances to ensure it is as energy efficient as possible.

Officials behind the scheme hope to attract around 100,000 visitors by the time it reaches its fifth birthday and the project is due to be completed by August.

The £400,000 scheme, which aims to breathe new life into the former colliery site, is expected to create jobs and training opportunities in the region as well as become a landmark leisure and educational facility.