Risley Moss tower funding secured

Parks and openspaces
Funding secured for new observation tower at much-loved nature reserve.
Published: Friday, 1st March 2019

Warrington Borough Council has secured the funding for a new observation tower at Risley Moss and is thanking local people and partners for their support.

The Council has now secured funding for the landmark scheme to install a new structure at the much-loved nature reserve. The project will cost an estimated £535,000.

£250,000 grant funding has been provided by WREN through the FCC Environment Landfill tax credit scheme, in addition to £10,000 raised through crowd funding and Risley Moss Action Group fundraising activities. The remaining cost of the new structure will be capitally funded by the Council.

Council leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “We know how important the Risley Moss tower was for local people and that’s why we’ve been working so hard to secure the necessary funding to construct a worthy replacement. The fantastic support we’ve received from the public, the Risley Moss Action Group and WREN means that we will be able to deliver the new observation tower in the near future.

“I’m really excited about the plans and the iconic design concept that has been developed, which aims to provide an attractive, accessible and robust structure that will be a valuable asset to the nature reserve.”

Cllr Tony Higgins, executive board member for leisure and community said: “I’m delighted we have secured the necessary funding and we will now be looking to finalise the construction design to enable the new observation tower to become a reality as soon as possible.

“The replacement structure will be made possible through the generosity of local people and the continued support from WREN, who have played a huge part in helping us to achieve our vision to provide high quality park facilities for communities across the borough.”

The previous tower, a 40-year-old wooden structure – popular with local people for observing wildlife – was destroyed in July 2017, following an arson attack.

The Council has undertaken a feasibility project, to establish what kind of structure can be created and the best method of construction. This is to ensure the replacement tower is robust, resistant to vandalism, cost-effective to maintain and accessible for all.

As part of this feasibility work, a number of design options have been evaluated in partnership with Planning Authorities and Natural England. 

Work is now underway to turn the preferred design concept into a deliverable engineered structure, with construction on site likely to commence later this year. Design details will be available for the public to view at the Risley Moss Green Safari Event on 30 June.