Work has begun on the purpose-built boathouse and leisure building at Kings Mill Reservoir in Sutton in Ashfield, following the completion of the new car park.

Visitors to the reservoir will soon be able to see the new building rising from the ground, on the edge of the water. Builders are on site and have started the construction, the foundations have been dug and the concrete will be poured in the coming days.

The building will provide modern and accessible changing facilities for water sports, and a meeting/training room on the ground floor, whilst the first floor will be home to a restaurant and function space with views over the reservoir. The plans for the leisure building will allow more residents and visitors the opportunity to access water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, and open water swimming.

The car park extension forms an integral part of Ashfield District Council’s plans to build a new boathouse with restaurant space at the reservoir. The newly finished car park can now hold an additional 136 cars, bringing the total to 260 spaces at the reservoir.

The new car park will be open for use from October once a barrier has been installed to restrict access to the car park overnight. Native hedging and trees will be planted to increase the biodiversity on site and a permeable surface has been used to mitigate flooding impacts.

Cllr Matthew Relf, Executive Lead for Growth, Regeneration and Local Planning, said “This is another fantastic project that will make a huge difference to Ashfield and the broader area. The reservoir is already a well-loved and well-used open space, and our plans will turn it into a destination park. We want everyone to be able to access water sports, and this project will open this opportunity up for more people, not just in the local area but further opening up Ashfield as a destination for visitors from further afield.

“Nature will always be at the heart of Kings Mill Reservoir and the Council is committed to providing more habitats for the birds, insects, and mammals that live here.”

Work is expected to be completed on the new facility by late 2024.

This project is just one of 16 being funded by Ashfield District Council’s £62.6million Towns Deal, which will regenerate Ashfield and create a District where innovation thrives, and residents are proud to be from.

The Council’s plans, and extended car park, complement the rapid expansion and development of the Mill Adventure Base, to offer a larger variety of activities for visitors from across Nottinghamshire and beyond.

Lindum Group site manager Malcolm Cousins said the project was progressing as planned, “We are currently excavating the foundations for the new boathouse and restaurant space. If all goes well, we will be pouring the first foundation later in the week.

“There has been lots of interest from members of the public as they walk by. They’ve been asking questions about how work is going and seem to be excited about what’s happening here.

“Most of the activity so far has been groundworks and the team we have employed live predominantly within five miles of the site, which is great for the local economy and for the environmental impact of the project.”