Willmott Dixon has been appointed by Forestry England to improve the visitor experience at Cheshire’s Delamere Forest
Procured by Major Works England and Northern Ireland, Willmott Dixon will start work later this month (October) and finish the main phase of the work by summer 2020.
The improvements to Delamere Forest will involve constructing a wooden-framed visitor hub featuring a new café and more seating and will create additional car parking spaces.
The forest welcomes over 750,000 visitors a year to enjoy the surroundings, listen to live music or take part in sports events.
Sustainability will be a key element of the project with solar panels, a ground source heat pump, sustainable drainage design and rainwater harvesting all being incorporated.
As part of the Delamere Forest project, Forestry England’s partner, Forest Holidays, has also begun creating a new cabin location allowing people the opportunity to stay overnight in the heart of the forest.
Paddy Harrop, forest management director for Central District including Delamere, said: “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, added: “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.
“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.”