Go ahead for lighthouse tourism project

Raising the flag:  Doug and Sue Hilton with young volunteer Miles Parsons. Photo: SG010812-121TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
Raising the flag: Doug and Sue Hilton with young volunteer Miles Parsons. Photo: SG010812-121TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
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THE Sir Peter Scott lighthouse at Sutton Bridge is set to become a tourist attraction fit to replace Long Sutton’s Butterfly Park by next August.

Already starting on Saturday visitors will be able to look out across the mouth of the Nene to the sea from the top of the tower each weekend this month.

Owners Doug and Sue Hilton are celebrating after Sutton Bridge Parish Council on Tuesday pledged £100,000 from the power station Section 106 fund to their newly registered charity to build a visitor centre and develop a cafe and museum at the lighthouse on the east bank of the Nene.

The couple’s aim is to open to the public and promote widely the magical spot where Sir Peter, son of Scott of the Antarctic and founder of the World Wildlife Fund and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, lived from 1933 until the outbreak of war.

Doug Hilton said: “We’ve put up the flag as the project starts here. £100,000 is just under a third of what we need but it means we can go ahead.

“It’s been an amazing summer as our Snowgoose Wildlife Trust has just been granted full charitable status and we’ve got locally made handrails in place so visitors can at last safely climb up into the tower. It’s an amazing view from there.

“Also Centrica and Birse Engineering contractors have restored for us the wildfowl ponds where Sir Peter kept wild geese and ducks.

“Their staff passed the lighthouse working on installing cables on the marshes for the offshore windfarm and they wanted to help.”

Planning permission was granted in 2011 for a two-storey timber-frame centre housing classroom, shop and cafe at the lane end of the lighthouse garden.

A spokesman for South Holland District Council said: “A formal offer letter for £100,000 will go out to Snowgoose now the parish council has decided.”

The lighthouse will be open each Saturday and Sunday in August from 11am to 4pm, plus Monday 27th.

Entry costs £5 for adults, £4 for concessions and under 16s, under-fives free.