The Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek has revealed its hopes to have an underwater seating area and as part of the biggest re-development in its 64-year history.

An event at the start of the month officially launched a £1.3million fundraising campaign, for which minerals exploration company Cornish Lithium has been named as the main sponsor.

The launch event saw businesses from across Cornwall invited to learn about the ''Fund Our Future' project.

The sanctuary has now announced more about its future plans, which include underwater seating and viewing areas and specialist audio-visual (AV) image systems. The AV image systems hopes to provide a dedicated area for local schools and community groups to immerse themselves in the experience with a first-hand view of the habitat the seals call home.

In an application to Helston Town Council, asking for a £2,000 grant towards the project, the sanctuary says it hopes the education facility will tell the stories of the residents, their rescues, why they are here and how the Seal Sanctuary is keeping them safe and healthy, with constant developments in the care programme.

Other parts of the significant plans to renovate the sanctuary, will see the replacement and construction of four new pools – more than doubling the water volume across the site from 820,000 litres to 2.25 million litres – with the installation of a state-of-the-art filtration system.

In addition to the development plans, there may also be opportunities for internships and employment, both seasonable and sustainably.

Fundraising manager Leanne Webb said of the launch event: “It was such a joy to be able to share this vital new project with so many inspiring businesses from around the Duchy.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary and Cornish Lithium

Cornish Seal Sanctuary and Cornish Lithium

“We know that, as an established charity here in Cornwall, connecting with our local business community will be a big part of the success of this project to bring our dreams of a sustainable future to life.

“A huge thank you to everyone who joined us to hear about the opportunities to get involved and support the ‘Fund Our Future’ campaign.

“Our thanks also go to our incredibly supportive sponsors, Cornish Lithium, who were key in making this event such a success.”

Held at the charity’s site on the Helford River, the event saw guests enjoy a VIP tour of the sanctuary, as well as complimentary Cornish cream teas, Prosecco and gin and tonics provided by Salcombe Gin Distillery and Navas Drinks

If you or your business would like to support the Cornish Seal Sanctuary’s ‘Fund Our Future’ campaign email for more information.