Visitor Education Centre

The Visitor Education Centre is a significant venture for the Trust and was part-funded by the Millennium Commission. It is adjacent to Great Cornard Lock and is used to promote the River Stour Navigation, its importance in Britain’s industrial and cultural heritage, and the Trust’s own role in promoting use of this historic waterway.

It houses our administrative office and archival records that will provide resources for schools, students and researchers. It is a destination for walkers, cyclists and boaters with a footpath and cycleway running alongside the river from the main road.

We supported the link between Sudbury and Great Cornard via a riverside footpath to enable easy access between these locations. This formally opened in December 2018 and forms part of the Gainsborough Trail.

Opening Hours: Our administrative office is based on site and is usually staffed on standard weekday office hours. However, we do have other locations to manage so are not always based on site! It is always advisable to contact us before you visit.

Gallery: View images of The Visitor Education Centre (VEC).


  • Visitor Education Centre, Dove House Meadow, Great Cornard, Suffolk, CO10 0GF
  • Click here for link to Google Maps
  • What3Words Location: ///riverboat.purifier.flap

Parking & Vehicular Access: There is limited parking available in the grounds of the VEC. Vehicular access and egress to and from the VEC is only via the roadway closest to our boundary fence (over the millstream). There is no access or egress next to the pumping station (other than emergency vehicle use). No parking is permitted anywhere on the river bank at any time e.g. parking is prohibited beyond the bollards that are installed opposite the VEC entrance gate.

Craft storage: Land-based storage and floating moorings are offered at this venue.

Educational Visits: The building is ideal for a range of ages and activities.

Private Hire: The venue can be privately hired for both community and private events.

VEC Hire Rates & Online Payment: Once you have made a booking then you can pay hire balances online.

Classes at the VEC: We are pleased to accommodate a variety of classes at the VEC. We are pleased to offer discounted rates for regular users.