Reviving the gardens of the historic 156 acre Worsley New Hall estate to create RHS Garden Bridgewater represents one of the largest gardening projects in Europe at this time.

Marcus Chilton-Jones and Anna da Silva assessing the siteFull planning permission was granted in June 2017, opening the doors to an exciting programme of development with the first phase of the garden opening to the public approximately three years later.
 
RHS Programme Director Anna da Silva said: "This is such an exciting project for Salford and the wider North West.

"It’s the first time in more than a hundred years that the RHS has taken on a garden project of this size. It will be an amazing resource for generations to come."


 


Highlights of the plan

Original entrance gates on the siteAlongside the restoration of the Walled Kitchen Garden, other highlights will include the recreation and development of historic features such as the tree-lined Garden Approach, and a reworking of the Lost Terraces, which sit between the lake and the former site of Worsley New Hall. Leading landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith has been appointed to create the overall master plan for the garden.

Download the master plan of the site (63KB pdf)

The RHS will also build a new Learning Centre for schools to grow their horticultural knowledge; a space for communities to come together with plant experts, a Plant Centre and space for a personal RHS Gardening Advice Service, giving people scientific-based expert knowledge to help them garden at home.

Much of the work is still subject to funding and the RHS is working with partners to secure finance to ensure that the project can stay on track.

Benefits for local communities

As well as providing a spectacular garden, the RHS is committed to delivering benefits on many different levels.

Anna da Silva said: "We are 100% focused on maximising the benefits for local communities – including jobs and apprenticeships, partnerships with schools and colleges, and community gardening projects across the region."

We are committed to delivering:

  • Jobs: the project will create more than 140 jobs in the garden and a further 180 in the local economy by 2029 and there will be opportunities for local people to learn new skills through training, apprenticeships and volunteering
  • Local investment: initial direct investment of £30m by 2023, adding £13.8m per annum to the local economy by 2029
  • Health and wellbeing: partnerships with local universities, GPs, hospitals and Social Services to research and promote the health and wellbeing benefits of gardens and gardening
  • Community gardening projects: developed with and for local people and organisations, initially near to RHS Garden Bridgewater, and ultimately extending across the region to reach tens of thousands of people. These projects will provide social, economic and health benefits, while enhancing the local environment
     

Phases of planned development

 
  • Phase 1: Restoration of the historic 11-acre walled garden and garden centre site, Middle Wood and the lake. Creation of a Horticultural Service Yard, therapeutic garden and community allotments. Opening of a new Welcome Building, including an events space, a learning space, offices, café, shop and plant centre; opening of a newly-created second lake, a new arrivals garden and access to the meadow area – to open in 2020
  • Phase 2: Creation of a bespoke Learning Centre with teaching garden, an arboretum and a further lakeside café. Creation of an architecturally stunning glasshouse on the site of the Old Hall; renovation of the terraces; renovation of the civil defence bunker for use as an exhibition space; creation of a Northern College of Horticulture – 2024 onwards as funds permit.

 

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