June 18, 2008
That’s Just the Ticket
By SUE SCOTT
Nature's World environmental centre is planning to ramp up its corporate partnership programme following a pounds 200,000 bid to the Big Lottery Fund.
Since launching last year, the centre's business package has attracted big name supporters, including Johnson Matthey Catalysts at Billingham, Corus at Teesside, and North-east based waste management firm Sita UK.
Companies receive complimentary family tickets for staff and have use of the centre for volunteer days.
Centre manager Stuart Goldie said: "Johnson Matthey staff have pulled on their wellies on a number of occasions to help clean up the model River Tees."
Now he's hoping others will see the benefit from linking with a community project that also presses the corporate green buttons.
"We want to talk to companies about putting together a package that's right for them," said Mr Goldie.
A registered charity, Nature's World depends largely on visitors to cover its pounds 200,000 annual running costs. It currently attracts 30,000 people a year.
"We need to get numbers significantly higher," said Mr Goldie.
"But we are a small outfit with a miniscule promotional budget."
Winning Lottery funding would give the centre financial security for the next two years, "so we can concentrate on core activities", said Mr Goldie.
Plans include developing four of the 25 acres as an outdoor area for younger children to learn about the environment through play, as well as launching science and technology challenges for secondary school, college and university students.
Ideas include setting them the task of building a car for the future and environmentally-friendly model boats to navigate the toy- sized Tees.
"We would like companies interested in the environmental and education message we are putting out to support in whatever way they feel appropriate," said Mr Goldie.
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