News Article

New Delamere visitor centre opens

30 September 2020

Delamere Forest's brand new visitor centre – housing a cafe, event spaces and improved toilet facilities – has opened its doors to the public.

Despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus outbreak, Forestry England and construction firm Willmott Dixon have managed to finished the new build on schedule.

There is also a new and improved bike centre that is clad in the same UK grown larch that was used for the main building, as well as new access roads and improved parking for 500 cars.

Forestry England says sustainability was at the forefront of the project design with rooftop solar panels, a ground source heat pump, a sustainable drainage system in the car park, and infrastructure to enable rainwater harvesting key parts of the scheme.

Back in March when stringent measures were introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19, swift action had to be taken by Willmott Dixon to introduce safe working practices for the construction site to remain operational.

Paddy Harrop, forest district manager for Forestry England, said: "It's been with immense pride that we have seen this project continue. Willmott Dixon have been proactive in facing the challenges COVID-19 has brought to us all and quickly found ways of working that let the construction continue while still ensuring government guidelines were met and safely adhered to.

"To be able to deliver this project on time for the visitors of Delamere Forest has been an amazing achievement for all those involved."

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, added: "We're very proud to play our part in delivering such as important project and help to transform one of the North West’s most iconic outdoor spaces, that have never been more important for our community’s health and well-being, especially in these challenging times."