The Ninesprings Café, Education and Information Centre was formally unveiled on Monday 3 November by South Somerset District Council Chairman, Councillor Mike Best.
Sitting on the cycleway through Yeovil Country Park, with great links to Yeovil town, the new multipurpose building includes volunteer space, a countryside workshop and a superb family and dog friendly café, offering a range of products in a lovely setting.
It is hoped that the new centre will help more people explore Yeovil Country Park and also provide greater information to people who already enjoy its facilities. The venue will also be used as an education and information centre for the park, and will be the new base for the countryside ranger team and park volunteers.
Present at the formal unveiling were many of the generous grant funders who helped the project to be constructed including The Veolia Environmental Trust who awarded South Somerset District Council a grant of £90,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund towards the construction of the building.
Speaking at the unveiling, the Chairman of South Somerset District Council, Councillor Mike Best said, “The Friends of Yeovil Country Park have worked tirelessly to fundraise. Their efforts in the local business community have seen generous contributions from Screwfix, BuildBase, AgustaWestland, Waitrose, John Hall Financial Services, Old Mill Accountancy and Meech and Son.
“We are grateful for funding support from Yeovil Town Council, The Abbey Manor Charitable Trust, Yeovil Vision and The Well Being of Yeovil Association. This substantial and varied local support has leant great weight to our applications to national funds and we were delighted when our major funder, the Veolia Environmental Trust, came on board. With further support from EDF Green Energy and Wessex Watermark for the sustainable elements of the build we were finally able to make this centre a reality.
“We have created a multi-functional space with room for the ranger team, the large volunteer teams and also a cafe space with the flexibility to divide off a meeting and education room. The provision of high quality public toilets alone should make a real difference to people’s experience during their visit to the park”.
Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture added, “Our thanks must go to all those who contributed to the building of this marvellous Centre. We are proud of what has been achieved. Several years after initially discussing the idea, it really is a dream come true to be up and running and already doing so well”.
The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, added, “We support community and environmental projects across the UK. It was great to see this excellent building finished and being officially opened. I hope it is used and enjoyed by all for many years to come.”
At the formal unveiling, The Well Being of Yeovil Community Association presented its final £8,000 grant cheque to Katy Menday, Countryside Manager, to pay for the new information panels and educational materials. The Charity is closing down on 31 December 2014 after 34 years and over £500,000 being donated to many worthy causes in the Yeovil area.
Tim Chappel, Chairman of The Well Being of Yeovil Community Association said, “It was sad to end the work but I am happy that our last grant has gone to an excellent project and one of many SSDC schemes that we have supported over the years including our first donation of £80,000 for the Mudford Recreation ground athletics track upgrade which enabled Yeovil to host the English Schools National Championships”.