The Royal Horticultural Society has pushed back the opening date for RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford by a year to 11 May 2021, due to the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 situation.
The long-awaited £30m garden had been due to open on 30 July.
Arcadis is managing the project on behalf of the Royal Horticultural Society, while Bam Construction is on site delivering Welcome Building. The project is cited as the largest gardening project in Europe and marks the first new RHS Garden in 17 years.
The first phase includes the restoration of the 11-acre Weston Walled Garden and several further gardens are planned, as well as a Welcome Building, designed by Hodder + Partners, which will feature an events space, learning space, offices, café and shop.
This building had been due for completion in June.
Work is ongoing, however RHS said that to ensure the health and safety of its staff and contractors, and following UK Government advice regarding social distancing, the RHS has been operating at limited capacity at the Salford site which has delayed the build programme.
Sue Biggs, RHS director general, said: “Whilst this is disappointing news for so many, we know that everyone will understand why we had to make this delay. As with every decision we make, the health and safety of our employees and contractors is paramount.
“RHS Garden Bridgewater will now open the week before RHS Chelsea Flower Show, meaning that in May 2021 the RHS will be doing more than ever in its history to promote gardening, growing and horticulture to support nurseries, growers, the horticultural industry and really get the nation gardening, I think everyone now knows how important this is for our health and the environment so what better way to celebrate the return of Spring and British horticulture at its finest.”
Two further phases are subject to funding and would complete in 2024 and 2028.