Thursday 22 October 2015
• New 156 acre RHS Garden Bridgewater will be created by bringing back to life lost historic grounds at Worsley New Hall
• RHS Garden Bridgewater set to welcome one million visitors a year within a decade of opening
• Horticultural highlights will include the restoration of the ten acre Walled Kitchen Garden, one of the largest in the UK
• The RHS will also build a new Learning Centre for schools for the benefit of thousands of young people in the region
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is unveiling plans to create a stunning new 156 acre RHS Garden in the heart of the North West by bringing back to life the lost historic grounds at Worsley New Hall in Salford. The site forms part of the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater’s estate and adjoins the Bridgewater Canal in Worsley, Salford.
RHS Garden Bridgewater is planned to open in 2019 as part of the RHS’ wider ten year £100+ million investment programme to achieve its Vision to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
As a result of collaboration between the owners of the historic estate, Peel Land and Property, Salford City Council and the RHS, the ambitious landscape and horticultural aspirations for RHS Garden Bridgewater will create a major new destination garden in the midst of the Northern Powerhouse to welcome and inspire one million visitors a year within a decade from opening its doors.
RHS Garden Bridgewater will join the RHS’ current portfolio of gardens at Wisley in Surrey, Rosemoor in Devon, Hyde Hall in Essex and Harlow Carr in Yorkshire.
The announcement comes in a year when the RHS has had record visits to its four Gardens, achieved its highest membership in its 211 year history at 445,000 and the highest number of online visits with 15.1 million unique users achieved to date this year.
RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, says: “We always thought it would take us a long time to find the ideal site for our Fifth Garden, but with its beautiful landscapes, good public transport links and outstanding location, Worsley New Hall was an opportunity we couldn’t miss.
“Thanks to the support of Salford City Council and Peel Land and Property, they have enabled us to create this new garden, which will bring beauty, knowledge, social cohesion, health and wellbeing, employment and enjoyment to millions more people within Salford, Greater Manchester and the surrounding regions.”
“We know that with the growth in visits to RHS gardens and our increased engagement with people wanting to garden and grow plants, the time is right to embark on this exciting ambition to create what we believe will become one of the UK’s greatest gardens.”
The RHS will work with a world class landscape architect to develop a masterplan for RHS Garden Bridgewater, which adjoins the Bridgewater Canal at Worsley. Horticultural highlights will include the restoration of the ten acre Walled Kitchen Garden, one of the largest in the UK; recreating and developing historical features such as the tree lined Garden Approach and recovering the Terraces, which sit between the lake and the site of the lost Worsley New Hall.
The new garden will bring to the community a new Learning Centre for thousands of schoolchildren to grow their horticultural knowledge; and a range of facilities that will bring gardening to life for everyone.
John Whittaker, Chairman of The Peel Group said: “For many years we have waited to seize the right kind of opportunity for this historic and unique location and we are proud and delighted that our site at Worsley New Hall is now set to become the RHS’ Fifth Garden.
“We’re very excited about the RHS creating such a beautiful and inspiring destination garden on the fringes of the city. The RHS are perfect to bring this area to life and the Fifth Garden will leave an incredible legacy for the people of Salford. Equally, its creation reinforces our investment in the Northern Powerhouse as it will attract interest and visitors from across the North West and beyond.”
Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart said: “The RHS’ plan to bring Worsley New Hall back to life and create a new garden of national and historical significance in Salford is exciting news for the city and the North West.
“The RHS’ commitment to deliver this ambitious project is testimony to the city’s continued transformation and I am proud to say that Salford is growing. The RHS Garden Bridgewater will bring further long-term investment and commitment which will generate hundreds of new jobs and create considerable educational, volunteering and community engagement opportunities, as well as learning opportunities and an improved transport network. As City Mayor I am pleased to embrace another key moment for the city which will secure enormous economic and environmental benefits.”
Sue finishes, “RHS Garden Bridgewater will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors for the benefit of local communities and RHS members, as well as the region’s socio-economic, environmental and cultural development. The gardens within the grounds will mature and develop over decades, providing a long lasting legacy that will enhance Greater Manchester and the North West forever.”
It is fourteen years since the RHS last acquired a garden when the charity was gifted RHS Garden Harlow Carr in 2001. Its flagship garden in Wisley Surrey, which welcomes one million visitors a year, is 115 years old and today all four RHS Gardens are recording record growth, with a combined audience of 1.76 million visitors a year.
The creation of the RHS Garden Bridgewater will be subject to all relevant planning and legal processes.
Notes to editors
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Phase one of the creation of RHS Garden Bridgewater is planned to begin shortly and will include site acquisition, planning applications and site clearance. The RHS will begin by building strong links with the Garden and the local community, involving volunteers and people within the region to help, for example, to restore the Walled Garden.
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.
We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows, through our scientific research, website, publications, libraries, education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants. We’re committed to promoting the value of gardens, demonstrating how gardening is good for us and explaining the vital roles that plants play in a sustainable world.
The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing over 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262
About Peel Land and Property
Delivering sustainable regeneration: Peel Land and Property owns 1.2 million m2 of property and 15,000 hectares of land and water. Our holdings are concentrated in North West England, the Clyde, Yorkshire and the Medway with a portfolio valued at £2.3 billion. Our specialist teams have a proven track record in delivering high quality sustainable mixed use developments with a focus on creating new communities. Peel Land and Property is part of The Peel Group, one of the UK’s foremost investors in real estate, infrastructure and transport, with assets owned or under management of more than £5 billion.
For more information visit www.peel.co.uk
Peel in the Northern Powerhouse
Through our investment portfolio, the scale, diversity, expertise and approach to continuously reinvesting across the North of England puts The Peel Group at the forefront of delivering shared ambitions for the Northern Powerhouse.
Find out more www.peelgroup.global/np150
About Salford City
The city of Salford in Greater Manchester covers 37 square miles and is the home to some 220,000 people, 200 miles North West of London.
Salford has 18 square miles of countryside and parks and 30 miles of rivers and canals, including the largest inland waterway in the country.
At the forefront of the industrial revolution, the Bridgewater Canal was the world's first commercial canal engineered to drain local mines and then to be a vehicle to transport the coal into Manchester.
Salford is now one of Britain’s ‘key growth’ areas recording the fastest growing population and economy outside of London. It is home to 8,700 businesses who employ more than 140,000 people and MediaCityUK, which has boosted the economy by £1bn in just five years.
Investment continues and more than £3.5billion in non residential developments are already planned in Salford over the next 10 years. This is on top of the 17,800 homes which have been granted planning permission in the past five years.
Ian Stewart became the city’s first directly-elected mayor in 2012.