A NEW visitor centre to provide the latest information about the Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme has opened its doors.

The opening comes in a week when it was confirmed that the huge scheme will cost approximately £72m, an increase on the previous estimate of £55m.

Stewart Mounsey, Environment Agency (EA) Flood Risk Manager for Cumbria, explained that the rise in costs was due to various engineering and technical issues whch had arisen as more detailed plans were formulated after the submission of the initial plans.

The centre is located in The Fell Tarn shop of the first floor of the town’s Westmorland Shopping Centre and will be open this Saturday and every Wednesday in October from 1pm to 5.30pm.

There are plans to extend the opening times of the information centre into November with details to be advised.

The centre includes displays, posters and visualisations of the scheme and EA staff will be on hand to answer any questions and listen to any feedback or comments.

And on days when the centre is not fully open, the extensive window displays will remain in place for members of the public to view in their own time.

“We’d love people to pop in and see us and have a chat face-to-face to gather your feedback and talk through any concerns,” said Mr Mounsey,

“You can also find out about individual property level flood protection measures and we can talk about steps individuals can do to better protect their families and homes.”

Included in the display are details of a competition to contribute some examples of ‘street art’ which will be incorporated in the scheme.

And in relation to the extensive replacement of trees, EA officials said they will be holding a ‘seed-planting day’ at the centre, which will be aimed at youngsters and will be held during half term on Wednesday, October 23.

Full details and other updates on the scheme can be found in the section marked ‘Kendal’ on the site www.thefloodhub.co.uk.