New £1.3m Seabird Centre to open

Gannet Sula bassana, pair of immature birds on updraugtht, Bass Rock, June
Gannet Sula bassana, pair of immature birds on updraugtht, Bass Rock, June

RSPB Bempton Cliffs’ brand new Seabird Centre is set to open on Easter weekend after seven months of development and more than £1.3m investment.

On 3 April at 9.30am, visitors will be able to join in the party with lots of fun activities including a performance by the Coastal Voices Community Choir, regular Puffin Patrols and the chance to have photos taken with Mrs. P, the sites resident puffin.

Keith Clarkson, Site Manager, said: “We’re so thrilled to be opening the new centre just as the thousands of seabirds return to the cliffs. It’s been really exciting watching the development take shape over the last seven months and we’d like to thank everyone involved for all their hard work in getting us to this point.

“We welcome around 76,000 visitors annually, who come to get spectacular views of the quarter of a million seabirds which make their home on the cliffs here each year. Hopefully the new centre will provide them with an even better experience than they had before.”

The development of Bempton Cliffs’ visitor experience, which started at the beginning of September last year, has been able to take place thanks to £639,700 of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), £452,784 of funding from the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) and over £300,000 of funding from the RSPB.

The new centre development has included completely refurbishing and extending the reception building, to create a sheltered space for education, community group and family activities and office space for RSPB staff and volunteers; providing more accessible footpaths, with new signs and trail boards; and redesigning the car park to create additional parking spaces and safe bicycle storage.

In addition Bempton has been able to revamp its Grandstand viewing platform, and build a brand new viewing point at Mosey Downgate, giving visitors even more spectacular views of the seabirds and the North Sea.

The new visitor centre will be open daily from 9.30 am–5 pm in summer, and from 9.30 am–4 pm in winter. Entry will be free to RSPB members. For non-members, admission will be £3.50 for adults, £2 for children (aged 5-17) and £8.50 for families (two adults and two children).