Earth Centre’s approval

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BOSSES at the firm looking at taking over the former Earth Centre site in Denaby are claiming major public support for their plans.

Kingswood, which runs residential educational activity centres, was named by Doncaster Council last month as the organisation which would take over the failed Millennium Project.

Its proposals would see school groups being invited the site to take part in a number of outdoor and indoor pursuits.

The company is claiming widespread support for its plans following a public exhibition outlining its plans held earlier this month.

Around 240 people attended the exhibition at The Ivanhoe Centre and those who attended were asked questions by the organisers to gauge their reaction to the proposals.

A spokesman said: “Feedback was positive and 97 per cent of those who responded welcomed Kingwood’s proposed investment in the area and the proposed re-use of the site as an educational facility.

“Kingswood has used the feedback collected at the public exhibition to inform its planning application for the site.”

Subject to getting the necessary planning permission, Kingswood says it plans a multi-million pound investment programme to create a flagship residential activity centre on the site, which has been vacant since 2004. Kingswood plans to retain and refurbish the site’s existing buildings as well as build new accommodation units for visiting students and teachers with a view to opening its doors in spring 2012.

The centre will also feature an 11,000 square foot indoor activity and sports hall, classrooms for ICT, field studies facilities and meeting rooms. The centre would also have evening entertainment for visiting groups including indoor and outdoor amphitheatres and performing arts facilities.

Paul Gilbert, Kingswood chief executive, said: “We are delighted by the support and enthusiasm for our proposal, which we see as a natural continuation of the site’s heritage as a centre for learning, with a focus on environmental sustainability.

“We will be investing £10 million in the project to recommission the existing buildings and add new accommodation units. When the centre is fully operational, we expect to employ up to 200 staff across a range of jobs from educational instruction through to IT support and catering.”