AN iconic landmark in Craven Arms has changed hands.

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre and neighbouring Onny Meadows have officially transferred to the ownership of Shropshire Housing Group.

The transfer of ownership, first mooted last year, has just been completed although Shropshire Housing Group’s partner and managing tenant, Grow Cook Learn, has been in situ since April.

The centre was first opened by Shropshire Council in 2001 at a cost of £2.4m and has since become a tourist attraction for those visiting the South Shropshire Hills, as well as a resource for educational use. The transfer of ownership will see it continue to offer school visits, local information and the Secret Hills exhibition, although there are some exciting new plans afoot for further growth.

Grow Cook Learn will create a training centre for food-related employment and work to ensure that it becomes a vibrant visitor attraction demonstrating the link between food production and the landscape of the Shropshire Hills.

Local lunches, frothy coffees and Shropshire cream teas have joined the menu in the café and Sunday lunches continue to be popular. Work will begin in the autumn on a horticultural project to grow produce for the café.

A refurbishment programme is due to be undertaken in early 2015 and will incorporate a professional kitchen for training and the move of the café to a more central position.