Sellafield Visitors' Centre will be demolished this month.

The popular centre, operated by BNFL, was officially opened in 1988 by Prince Philip and went on to become one of West Cumbria's biggest tourist attractions.

The £5million attraction operated for 20 years and will now be demolished this month.

Andrew Pearson was one of the first guides and said: “People were encouraged to visit and make up their own minds about nuclear. The centre had fantastic views of the Sellafield site and the exhibition hall had something for everyone. You could venture into the heart of a nuclear reactor, drop in on a Victorian ‘ghost’ and experience an eye-opening demonstration of nuclear fission.”

In 1995 the Visitors' Centre had a multi–million pound refurbishment reflecting BNFL’s evolution from an almost wholly UK-based business to a major player in the international nuclear services marketplace.

The revamp catapulted the attraction into the future with a kaleidoscope of the latest science and technology and spectacular laser shows designed to enthral people of all ages.

The Mighty Atom was recognised as one of the centre's mascots who rode overhead on a nuclear transport flask, telling the story of recycled spent fuel.

In 2002, BNFL handed over creative control of the exhibition to the London Science Museum.

By the time the doors finally closed at the centre in 2008, it had attracted over two million visitors and with the formation of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2004, the focus at Sellafield had once again shifted, this time to the clean-up of the nuclear legacy.

Now managed and operated by Sellafield Ltd, the way in which the Sellafield site communicates with the public has transformed with the times. The ongoing story of Sellafield is still being told through a smaller exhibition at the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven.