Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 15:53 UK

Visitor centre on wind farm site

Whitelee wind farm
Each turbine at Whitelee windfarm stands 110m high

A £2m visitor centre which will give the public access to Europe's largest onshore wind farm will open next month.

The exhibition and education centre at the Whitelee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor in East Renfrewshire will be managed by the Glasgow Science Centre.

It has a cafe, shop and technology aimed at helping people understand how the 140 giant turbines work.

A 82km network of walking and cycle paths at the site will also be opened up to the public.

Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and BBC weather presenter Heather Reid attended a preview of the visitor centre on Monday.

The first minister Alex Salmond officially switched on the turbines at Whitelee in May.

He also confirmed plans for a further 36 turbines on the site.

Whitelee is an amazing feat of engineering and we want to share that with as many people as possible
Keith Anderson
ScottishPower Renewables

Over the next two years a programme of access improvements is also planned, which would see further upgrades to recreational paths and improvement to car parking, viewpoints and signage.

A ranger service will also be established to assist visitors and promote greater use of the Whitelee area.

Keith Anderson, director of ScottishPower Renewables, said: "Being Europe's largest operational wind farm, Whitelee is an amazing feat of engineering and we want to share that with as many people as possible."

Kirk Ramsay, Chief Executive of Glasgow Science Centre, said: "This is a unique partnership and we are proud to be managing the visitor centre.

"GSC is excited by the opportunity we've had to contribute to the planning and design of the exhibits and the centre.

"We'll be using our skills and knowledge to deliver an outstanding experience for visitors whether for a leisure visit or to further the educational aims of the development."

The visitor centre and roads and paths network will be officially opened to the public on 22 September.

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