Climate change, renewable energy and our planet’s future are brought into sharp focus at Brighton's newest attraction Rampion Visitors Centre.
Caroline Lucas MP, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, was the first visitor to the Rampion Visitor Centre, located in six newly-refurbished arches neighbouring Brighton’s West Pier Pillars and facing the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, 13 kilometres off the Sussex coast.
Through dozens of displays and interactive exhibits, it offers the Sussex community and Brighton’s 11 million annual visitors a free museum, bringing to life the story of human settlement, technological advancement and population growth, alongside climate change, renewable energy and the construction of Rampion.
The Visitor Centre is now open for pre-booked visits of groups from one household at a time, with facilities in place to ensure strict compliance with all requirements in relation to the coronavirus. To book and find out more details, including a photo and video gallery, visit rampionoffshore.com.
Caroline Lucas MP said, "I have backed the Rampion Wind Farm since its very early days, not only because of its importance in terms of reducing carbon emissions, but as a source for education and inspiration too. So I'm delighted that this Visitor Centre is now open for people to come to visit and be inspired. Since plans for the wind farm were first being discussed in 2012, we've seen the climate crisis accelerating in terrifying ways - time is rapidly running out for us to take the action needed to drive down emissions and free ourselves from the choking hold of fossil fuels. This Visitor Centre has an important role to play in showing what we can do. I'm very pleased to be one of the first visitors."
Chris Tomlinson, Rampion’s Development and Stakeholder Manager and Living Coast Board Member, commented, “Climate scientists say we have less than a decade to drastically reduce our carbon emissions to stop the devastating effects of global warming. We have brought together historical and scientific information in audio and visual displays to explain the causes, impacts and solutions to climate change, with a real focus on energy.
“Our attraction also tells the local Rampion story, from early development to the engineering feat of constructing and operating a wind farm 13 kilometres out to sea.”
A huge interactive globe is the centre piece of the Visitor Centre, showing the impact people have had on the planet, visualising population growth and the recent impact of the greenhouse effect as well as what the future could hold.
Other features include an exciting virtual reality experience taking you out to the wind farm, climbing up and standing on top of a turbine. Interactive games and video kiosks allow visitors to explore the development, construction and operation of Rampion and visitors can also enjoy interactive exhibits showing how energy is made and how wind energy works.
Chris Tomlinson continued, “The Visitor Centre is designed to inform children and adults in a fun and exciting way, so we’ve created a variety of exhibits, to enable visitors to choose what they want to discover in a way that suits them. We look forward to welcoming local residents, students and tourists of all ages, to come and experience Brighton’s newest visitor attraction and discover how every one of us can play our part to reduce carbon emissions.”
The Visitor Centre is FREE to enter and forms part of the £4million Rampion Community Fund, voluntarily created for the Sussex community.
Brighton seafront was chosen as the ideal location due to its clear view of the wind farm, high footfall and excellent public transport connections. The Rampion Community Fund, following the wind farm construction, has benefited projects from Littlehampton in the west to Beachy Head in the east, including installing telescopes along the coast.
The Rampion Offshore Wind Farm supplies enough green energy to power the equivalent of almost 350,000 homes - around half the homes in Sussex - and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 600,0003 tonnes a year. Installation of the 116 turbines was completed in September 2018 when Rampion became the first offshore wind farm off the UK’s south coast.