Willmott Dixon wins £9m Delamere Forest project

The company has been appointed by Forestry England to build a 11,600 sq ft wooden-framed welcome centre at Delamere Forest in Cheshire.

Willmott Dixon was procured via Major Works England & Northern Ireland, part of the Scape National Construction Framework. Design Group Chester is the architect.

Work is set to start by the end of October and the main phase of works finished by summer 2020.

A key element of the project is sustainability, and as such solar panels, a ground source heat pump, a sustainable drainage design and rainwater harvesting are to be incorporated into the build.

The project will improve visitor facilities by including a café and more indoor and outdoor seating. Accessibility improvements will also be taking place, such as the building of a car park with extra capacity and enhanced vehicle access.

Additionally, Forestry England’s long-term partner Forest Holidays has begun work on a series of cabins so that people can have the opportunity to stay overnight in Delamere 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 Holiday’s 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, 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.”

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