Work starts on renovating Brancaster Activity Centre after tidal surge

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Almost a year after the tidal surge devastated Brancaster Activity Centre, work is finally starting on refurbishing and repairing the centre ahead of the reopening next June.

The centre, which offers outdoors activity and education breaks for school groups, was severely damaged by flooding caused by the tidal surge in December 2013, with 20 inches of water pouring past flood defences and into the building.

Joanna Rowland, National Trust learning manager for the Norfolk Coast, said: “Like so many people whose homes and businesses were damaged, it has been a long road to recovery from the tidal surge last year.

“We’ve been lucky to be able to operate out of alternative accommodation for much of this year, but there really is no place like home and we’re really excited about the new look for the centre, as well as expanding what we’re able to offer, which we hope will bring a boost to local tourism too. Work is getting underway this month and we’ll be working hard to keep the local community updated.”

Now, after a long period of drying the building out and planning for the future, work is due to start on bringing the National Trust centre back into use, with plans to welcome the first groups back in June 2015.

Improvements to the centre will include protection from future tidal surges, including installing toilets and drains with one-way valves, installing kitchen equipment that can be easily moved to higher ground and even including ‘sacrificial walls’ that can be easily replaced in the event of damage.

With accommodation for up to 48, the centre is the perfect base for groups to explore the North Norfolk coast, with a team of experienced instructors on hand to give tuition in everything from kayaking and sailing to muddy adventures along the Norfolk mudflats.

The re-opened centre will also welcome adult and family groups, with the option to book the entire centre for self-catering holidays, ideal for bird-watching or walking groups.

For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brancaster-activity-centre