Issue date: 16th April 2013
Four years since plans were first approved, Devon County Council's Grand Western Canal visitor centre has now officially opened.
The Chairman of Devon County Council, Cllr Jerry Brook was joined by local Olympic athlete, Jo Pavey, who regularly trains on the canal's towpath.
The new visitors’ centre includes high-tech interactive touchscreen displays with information, film and photographs celebrating the canal's history and local wildlife.
The visitor centre is elliptical, using natural and traditional materials including green oak cladding and terne-coated steel that will weather to look like lead.
Below ground, the centre is built on a subterranean Grade II-listed limekiln. Considerable archaeological excavation had to go into work to first pinpoint the exact location and size of the protected limekiln, and to ensure that the visitor centre's foundations did not damage the kiln beneath.