Willmott Dixon to build sustainable forest welcome hub

Willmott Dixon has won a £9m deal to build a sustainable wooden-framed visitor hub in the Delamere Forest in Cheshire for Forestry England.

The building will feature solar panels, a ground source heat pump, sustainable drainage and rainwater harvesting.

It will offer a new café and upgraded facilities with more indoor and outdoor seating, accessibility improvements and a new car park with extra capacity and enhanced visitor access.

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.

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive said: “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.”

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, added: “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.”

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