Middlesbrough's Nature's World could reopen with revamp

Nature's World
Image caption The centre closed earlier this year because of money problems

Plans to reopen a nature reserve which shut earlier this year and return it to its former glory have been revealed.

Nature's World in Acklam, Middlesbrough, went in to administration after 20 years of trading in January.

Now a local business consortium is planning to invest £500,000 to reopen the former visitor attraction.

Middlesbrough Council said it would consider all options for the site before making a decision.

Another option it is considering is demolishing what is left of the area and developing it into a housing estate, the council said.

The 25-acre site, which had nature trails and children's play areas, closed in January because of "financial difficulties" with eight staff losing their jobs.

'Ecological asset'

Brian Marshall, who is leading the consortium, said: "We would like to rescue this asset for the community as its gates have been closed for the best part of a year.

"The site has some very unique features including an indoor rain forest - there is a lot of work to do but we are planning a garden centre and restaurant as well.

"The idea is this centre could become a real ecological asset for the community."

Ron Arundale, the Conservative councillor for Acklam, said he was supporting the plan to reopen the nature reserve.

He said: "Nature's World really was well loved - business-wise this plan ticks all the boxes - it would create jobs and educational opportunities."

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