Funding approved for new visitor hub at Haweswater

The current spinning barn is proposed to be restored to be turned into the new community and visitor hub. Credit: Annabel Rushton

Funding has been approved to restore a spinning barn to provide a new community and visitor hub at Haweswater.

The £135,000 grant, from FCC Communities Foundation, will provide a facility for groups looking to learn more about the landscape restoration work being carried out by the RSPB and United Utilities.

The visitor hub will enhance experiences already on offer at Haweswater and provide new opportunities for the local community and visitors.

Annabel Rushton, RSPB Visitor Experience Manager at Haweswater, said: "This converted spinning barn will make a difference to locals and visitors alike.

"We already get lots of groups from nearby, around Cumbria and further afield coming to find out more about our work here.

"However, we don’t currently have any suitable indoor space to host them in, which isn’t ideal in the Lake District weather.

The new visitor hub is proposed for the Lake District. Credit: Gosia Niemczura

"This means we can provide a dry, comfortable place for group visits and our existing events and experiences programme, as well as being able to offer new events such as art and craft workshops and wellbeing activities for a diverse range of people.

"At times when the barn is not in use by organised groups it will be available for locals to use as a community facility and for anyone walking through on the public rights of way to pop in and find more information about our work here with United Utilities, to restore the landscape for wildlife, water and people.

"It’s fantastic that FCC Communities Foundation has awarded us this money and we’re looking forward to our community and visitor hub taking shape over the next year."

Haweswater is home to a range of special upland wildlife. The ongoing conservation work has seen salmon breeding once more in the restored Swindale Beck, while dippers and common sandpipers fly overhead.

Richard Smith, FCC Communities Foundation senior grant manager, said: "We’re delighted to be supporting the restoration of the spinning barn and pleased our funding will benefit so many visitors to Haweswater.

"FCC Communities Foundation is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that improve local communities and we’re looking forward to this one making a difference very soon."

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