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Tue December 07 2021

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BAM joins Europe’s largest gardening project

13 Nov 18 The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has appointed BAM Construction to design and construct the Welcome Building and lake at the RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford.

Architect Hodder & Partners has designed the Welcome Building at RHS Garden Bridgewater
Architect Hodder & Partners has designed the Welcome Building at RHS Garden Bridgewater

BAM’s contract  involves the construction of a new Welcome Building comprising an arrivals hall, learning facilities, café, plant centre and gift shop, together with associated hard and soft landscaping and a new 4,750 m2 lake.

The scheme forms part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s £30m plan to create a 62 hectare garden in Worsley, Salford. It is the society's first new garden in 17 years and the RHS calls it “the largest gardening project in Europe”.

RHS is restoring the lost historic grounds at Worsley New Hall in Salford which form part of the third Duke of Bridgewater’s estate and adjoin the Bridgewater Canal. Landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith has created an overall master plan for the garden. It includes the restoration of the 11-acre Walled Garden, one of the largest of its kind in the UK, and a new perennial meadow entrance garden, laid out like a web and incorporating the new lake. This will be connected to the original, historic lake by a water garden of interlocking streams and cascades.

Project architect Hodder & Partners will now be novated to the construction partnership. Planning permission was granted in June 2017 and the RHS anticipates opening in 2020.

It is anticipated that it will attract up to 700,000 visitors per year by its 10th year of opening.

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BAM regional director Ian Fleming said: “The Welcome Building has high quality finishes throughout from the exposed concrete columns, concrete floor finish and glulam timber roof structure to the elevations of curtain walling and larch cladding.

“We are now ensuring the design is ready for procurement and construction activity. Construction work is expected to start in January.

“I’m delighted the RHS has trusted us with this special scheme.  One of BAM’s great credentials is an adaptable and genuinely collaborative approach. We are good at getting inside a scheme and a client’s mind set, and we are looking forward to a very productive partnership as RHS Garden Bridgewater starts to become a reality.”

John Pye, capital projects manager for RHS Garden Bridgewater, said: “The appointment of BAM Construction to design and build our new Welcome Centre and lake is an important step in RHS Garden Bridgewater becoming the world-class destination for horticulture in the North West that we envisage. The Welcome Building and lake in the entrance garden will be the first impressions that visitors receive of the new garden, and with BAM’s track record of delivering outstanding buildings throughout the UK we are confident we have chosen the ideal local partner to realise our vision. We are looking forward to working with the team as the project progresses.”

Cost consultancy and project management is being provided by Arcadis while the civil and structural services are provided by ROC and building services engineering is by Hoare Lea.

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