Middlesbrough Environment City (MEC) – currently based in North Road – would relocate to the former Nature’s World site off Ladgate Lane and take over responsibility for some of the buildings and a small part of the land if the plan gets the go-ahead.
Nature’s World ceased operating as a visitor centre in 2012 and the site has since been secured and maintained by Middlesbrough Council a cost of around £60,000 a year.
The latest proposal will be considered at a meeting of the Council’s Executive Sub-Committee for Property when it meets next Wednesday (December 16).
The move is in line with the Council’s desire to see the site continue to be used for environmentally friendly projects, and the authority will continue to engage with a range of voluntary and community organisations to develop other complementary uses in the short to medium term.
MEC would move into the former Nature’s Worlds shop/reception area and exhibition hall on a proposed 15-year lease, together with plans to bring the allotment area back into use. MEC will also support existing volunteers who have been active in helping to maintain areas across the site
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Deputy Mayor and Executive member for Regeneration, said: “It has always been our aim to explore possible leisure and educational uses for parts of the former Nature’s World site in the short to medium term.
“This proposal will give Middlesbrough Environment City an ideal base from which to deliver environmental educational projects and health interventions in a safe and secure location.
“We will also continue to support ongoing community access and activity on the site and look forward to working with a range of voluntary and community groups.
“By retaining ownership of the site the Council also has flexibility over any long-term strategic use for what is a considerable asset.”