Owners of Sir Peter Scott’s lighthouse in Sutton Bridge submit plans for visitor centre and museum

Posted: 07/09/2011 in all marine news

David Blackmore –

It was once home to the “founder father” of global conservation and now the current owners of Sutton Bridge’s East Lighthouse want to open it up to the public.

Doug and Sue Hilton have submitted proposals to council planners to build a visitor centre and museum on the site of the historic lighthouse, once home to well-known conservationist and painter Sir Peter Scott.

They are also going to open the lighthouse to the public over weekends in August to help start raising money to fund the building work, if approved.

The couple bought the lighthouse, which stands at the mouth of the River Nene looking out on to the Wash, last November from Commander David Joel who spent 25 years reviving it.

Mr Hilton said: “We weren’t aiming to do anything with the lighthouse this year because getting this place was hard enough and we wanted to sort ourselves out before we did anything else.

“But people in the area started asking us what we wanted to do with it and after we told them our plans, we started getting phone calls of support and it started to snowball from there.

“We then decided to sit down and get our ideas on paper and get the plans in and so far everyone has been really helpful and given us some useful suggestions.”

Mr Hilton said the museum would be dedicated to Sir Peter Scott, who lived in the lighthouse from 1933 to 1939, and the developed site will allow people to engage with wildlife.

He continued: “Everyone loves to visit a lighthouse but this is so much more than just a lighthouse – it is the starting point of global conservation.

“We reckon we will need about £250,000 to build the visitor centre and museum, which is a huge amount to raise.

“It is therefore hard to know exactly when we will be able to turn our dream into a reality.

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