WESTONBIRT ARBORETUM BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF NEW WELCOME BUILDING
The Welcome Building forms part of Phase One of the Westonbirt Project, which has also included relocating the car park and restoring the arboretum’s Grade I Registered downland.
The Project has been funded by The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, Forestry Commission, a £1.9m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £500,000 Biffa Award and gifts from several foundations, trusts and individuals.
Building contractor Speller Metcalfe has been selected following a competitive tender process to manage the construction of the new building, alongside Glenn Howells Architects.
The Gloucestershire-based construction team started on site at the end of July and will work closely with Westonbirt to help realise the ambitions of funders, staff, visitors and volunteers.
Andy Metcalfe, Managing Director of Speller Metcalfe, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to become part of the Forestry Commission’s legacy on such a historic and well-regarded site.
“Speller Metcalfe will be working side-by-side with the Forestry Commission and the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum to ensure visitors not only get to enjoy a fantastic new facility, but are well-informed of any updates and milestones throughout the project.”
The highly anticipated Welcome Building has been planned for many years. It will improve access for visitors and offer an insight into the history of the arboretum, as well as exploring the care of Westonbirt’s internationally important tree collection.
Simon Toomer, Director of Westonbirt Arboretum, said:
“This is a really exciting time for Westonbirt Arboretum. This building is so important for improving the welcome we give to our visitors, and in enabling everyone who visits us to feel connected to the arboretum’s trees and their stories.”
The new, single storey facility will be a timber framed, curved design – reflecting the natural surroundings of the arboretum. It will incorporate a reception area, toilets, mobility scooter storage, interpretation and information room and staff area.
Follow the project blog: www.westonbirtproject.co.uk