VIDEO: 'Excellent' plans to improve Kings Mill Reservoir

The plan for the new interior.
The plan for the new interior.

A heritage and nature reserve‘s  visitors centre could go under major face lift in hopes to bring in more visitors and improve their experience.

Plans by Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council could see the visitors centre at Kings Mill Reservoir altered to make it more modern and open.

The councils are also looking into combining the site with its heritage by telling the story of ‘The King and the Miller of Mansfield’ which the mill in the story is believed to lie at the bottom of the reservoir.

Chris Watkinson, 69, from Sutton is the Chairman for the Friends of Kings Mill Reservoir has been visiting the site since the 1970’s, said: “The plans are excellent, better than the exciting cafe.

“We are particularly concerned about the wildlife we have to make sure they are catered for.”

The plans are also expected to undertake critical development work on site to de-silt parts of the reservoir.

The plan for the new exterior

The plan for the new exterior

Chris also said their are 200 species of birds and ducks at the lake and a small population of water voles which he says they ‘treasure.’

The plans for the visitors centre do not extend its already standing structure, but does see additions of larger windows and an more open area.

Councillor Cheryl Butler, leader of Ashfield District Council said: “The design is a vast improvement, it enhances what we already have.”

Last year the councils secured £121,000 from National Lottery players for the scheme which they are calling the King and Miller to Kingfisher scheme.

Councillors, volunteers and architect involved in the plans.

Councillors, volunteers and architect involved in the plans.

The councils are now also applying for a Heritage Lottery Fund bid in early 2018 to seek funding to implement the proposals.

Coun Butler said: “With such fantastic participation in the summer consultation programme, we can already see this is a project our residents are fully supporting and getting excited about. Providing something for everyone, the plans for the new visitor centre can only build on this excitement.”

Improvements have already been made to the visitors centre with the addition of a ceder cladding to cover up the large gray bricks which where their before.

Nottinghamshire County Council leader Councillor Kay Cutts said: “This exciting project will enhance the visitor experience and protect wildlife at King’s Mill Reservoir and we are very pleased with the progress that is taking place as we invest in this popular reservoir and historic site.”

Paul Stanton one of the architects from Guy Taylor Associates who designed the centre said: "We are trying to bring the reservoir in and maximise the views.

“The plans are currently interpretations and are being worked on.

“The outside has been clad with ceder and it is already softer.”