Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 18:08 UK

Visitor centre needs 'wow' factor

The historic country house at Brockhole would be let out

Plans for a multi-million pound facelift for a Lake District visitor centre have been initially approved.

Under the £23m proposals for Brockhole near Windermere, the historic country house would be let out for commercial use and its gardens restored.

What has been described as a "wow building" would also be constructed.

This would include an "immersive cinema", where people could smell what was on screen as well as see it and a watersports centre.

There would also be general improvements to access roads and car parking, and the piers at the lakeside would be enlarged to take bigger passenger vessels.

The aim is to compete with other modern high-technology attractions like the Eden Centre in Cornwall and Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

Brockhole, once the holiday home of a wealthy Victorian family, the Gaddums, is now owned by the Lake District National Park Authority.

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