Nick Herbert opens "eco-building" in Fontwell
A landmark building that has a wild flower meadow planted on the roof has been officially opened by Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert.
The Greenpower Centre in Fontwell, designed and built by local firm Fordingbridge plc, was opened at an event on Friday (16 July).
The new building boasts a range of features designed to limit its impact on the environment, including an under-floor heating system invented by the Romans, "intelligent" lighting, and toilets that use rain water for flushing.
The Arundel Road building will be occupied by the Greenpower Trust, a charity that works with young people to stimulate their interest in engineering as a career.
Young people aged between 9 and 25 are encouraged to design and build electric cars which they race at events held around the country. Last year's national final was held at the Goodwood Motor Circuit near Chichester and was started by Mr Herbert and Lord March.
Next year, the charity plans to develop new activities to promote sustainable buildings with a series of competitions between schools.
Speaking at the event on Friday, attended by around 100 invited guests, Mr Herbert said: "It's a pleasure to be here as the local MP and to celebrate what is an inspiring building. It took my breath away when I first saw it. My only regret is that more people won't be able to see it from the road because I do think it's a glorious building. I would like to thank Fordingbridge very much for providing this facility for Greenpower."
Mr Herbert paid tribute to the work of Greenpower, saying: "I agree about the importance of engineering and inspiring engineers. This is a country that became great in the Industrial Revolution and we still celebrate our great engineers today. In more recent years engineering did perhaps become unfashionable.
"But we must restore the value we place on engineering, and in making things, as the foundation of our economic success rather than an over-reliance on financial services. It seems to me that inspiring a younger generation of people about the value of engineering is going to be immensely important."
Notes for Editors
1. For more information on the Greenpower Centre, visit the Fordingbridge website at http://www.fordingbridge.co.uk/portfolio/?Sustainable-ecobuilding-Greenpower.
2. For more information on Greenpower, visit http://www.greenpower.co.uk/about/.