Willmott Dixon’s track-record for creating sustainable space for people to enjoy will be further enhanced by a £9m contract to improve one of the most popular forests in England.
The company has been appointed by Forestry England to create a new wooden-framed visitor welcome hub at Delamere Forest in Cheshire, which each year welcomes over 750,000 visitors to run, walk, bike, horse ride, listen to live music or take part in a sports event.
The project will improve the visitor experience with a new café featuring upgraded facilities including more indoor and outdoor seating, along with key accessibility improvements and a new car park with extra capacity and enhanced vehicle access to cater for busy days and popular events, like Forest Live concerts.
Procured via Major Works England and Northern Ireland, a part of the Scape National Construction framework, Willmott Dixon will start work later this month and finish the main phase of works by summer 2020. Sustainability is a key element with solar panels, a ground source heat pump, a sustainable drainage design and rainwater harvesting all incorporated.
As part of the project, Forestry England’s long-term partner, Forest Holidays, has also started to create a new cabin location so people will have the opportunity to stay overnight in a cabin in the heart of Delamere Forest.
Paddy Harrop, Forest Management Director for Central District including Delamere, says: “The new visitor hub is the most significant investment for Forestry England this year and shows how important Delamere Forest is as a visitor destination. It’s an important green space for people living in nearby cities and towns to come and enjoy and these new facilities will really improve their experience. Forest Holidays’ cabins will allow visitors to experience Delamere in a new way and their investment will help to support the project.”
Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive commented, “Our outdoor spaces are so important for our health and well-being and the new sustainable visitor centre will hugely enhance Delamere Forest’s already fantastic reputation within the local and surrounding communities.” Mark continued, “The expertise within Willmott Dixon will guarantee that the project is delivered with the highest quality whilst ensuring that the site remains open for the visitors.”