An approach that creates a new gateway to the South Downs National Park
Roger Bateman, Member of the History Team, The Shoreham History Portal, writes about the Visitor Centre:
One of the major benefits of the South Down Project will be to help return a damaged landscape towards the natural aspect it once possessed.
So why preserve the memory of an industry that scarred a beautiful Sussex valley with ugly, grey towers, choked the surrounding countryside with fine white dust and ate away an entire hillside of precious downland?
Everything has a history and whilst it may not always fall within our concept of an idealised past it is still fact and in this case an important and interesting part of the Adur Valley’s industrial history.
From an insignificant eighteenth century chalk pit producing agricultural lime for the surrounding farms, the industry grew to become one of the most modern cement works in the country equipped with state of the art machinery.
From the outset such a spectacular enterprise will prove a constant draw of inquisitive audiences to view work in progress through to completion and beyond.
The finished South Down Project will be both impressive and pleasing to the eye, but people will still want to know what it was like before, and how it was built. Visitor centres are a popular and proven way of providing this information through ‘before and after’ displays architectural models, specimen geology/fossils/flora/ fauna, tours of the site, audio/visual history of the people who worked there, the buildings they worked in and the work they did.
The finished project has the opportunity to be breath-taking, and a Visitor Centre will tell its story.
The History Team,
The Shoreham History Portal
The new South Downs Visitor Centre will feature a full range of interactive exhibition pieces, with contemporary internet based technology supporting and aggregating the overall learning experience.
Positioned at the gateway to the development, with a covered car parking facility under an elevated exhibition building, the new South Down National Park Visitor Centre would feature a new state-of-the-art interactive exhibition, bequeathed free of charge by the South Down Project from their own Visitor Centre.