The urban farm in Kirkby is set to expand with the construction of a new visitors centre, paddocks, and additional parking, following the agreement of a land swap with Knowsley Council.
Acorn Farm sits Depot Road on the edge of Knowsley Industrial Estate, and is a petting zoo with a range of farmyard animals including horses, goats, pigs and chickens.
The farm has agreed a lease with the council for a 165,000 sq ft plot of vacant pasture land, which sits across a brook from the current farm location, while another portion of land in the farm’s ownership is being given to the council for development.
Designed by DK Architects, an expanded visitors centre will be built on the newly-released land, with a bridge connecting the site to Acorn’s existing site.
The visitors centre will include a café, kitchen, and shop, all larger than in the existing visitors centre, as well as spaces for hosting events.
A new entrance will be built from the recently updated North Perimeter Road, to replace the existing entrance from within the industrial estate.
A 150-space car park will be provided within the site, to avoid the need for visitors to have to park on the surrounding streets.
According to the planning application to Knowsley Council, the project would potentially be delivered in phases, with the visitors centre on the new plot opened first and connected to the existing site, before parking and landscaping is completed.
In the application document, DK Architects said: “The availablity of a new site gives a great opportunity for Acorn Farm to introduce a more dynamic organisation that offers greater potential for views and a more meandering circulation, offering a sense of discovery to the visitor experience, whilst at the same time creating a more secure entry point that offers all of the services available without paying entry.”