The RHS has announced their future investment plan , including their intention to invest £30 million to create a new fifth garden in Salford, in partnership with Salford City Council and the Peel Group. This is an opportunity which the council has worked hard to realise with the RHS and Peel Group and, like MediaCityUK, will be a ‘game changing’ moment for our local economy and the future of the city. .
This partnership brings to life the vision of the City Plan for the west of our city, capitalising on our excellent location; existing developments including AJ Bell Stadium and Port Salford; unique historical and cultural assets and innovative approach to growth, opening up our green spaces to enrich the lives of local people. .
The plan is for a new 156 acre garden at the historic ground of Worsley New Hall. This announcement is exciting news for our city and would see the RHS invest £30 million in developing an attraction of national significance to stand alongside their current portfolio of gardens in Wisley (Surrey); Hyde Hall (Essex); Rosemoor (Devon) and Harlow Carr (Yorkshire). The garden would be second only in size to the RHS flagship garden at Wisley and is the cornerstone of Society’s £100+ million strategic investment programme over the next decade. .
The RHS’ commitment to deliver this ambitious project is testimony to the city’s continued transformation and I am proud that Salford is growing in ways that will clearly benefit our communities..
The RHS Bridgewater Garden will bring further long-term investment and commitment which will generate hundreds of new jobs and create considerable educational, volunteering and community engagement opportunities. It has the opportunity to become one of the greatest gardens of the north, indeed of the whole country. .
With up to one million visitors a year expected to flock to the gardens within ten years, there are clear enormous economic and environmental benefits for our city and the region for future generations to enjoy, including the opportunity to address transport and enhance the highway network. The new attraction will act as a catalyst for growth in the local visitor economy, attracting further investment and business. .
For the community, the garden will offer tremendous benefits, engaging local schools and voluntary groups. Community involvement from the outset will be nurtured by RHS expert support and encouragement. This includes a new RHS Learning Centre to develop young people’s horticultural knowledge and the RHS School of Horticulture’s expansion to encompass the fifth garden. Year round public engagement will be provided for a range of groups, local volunteers and visitors. .
We will be looking to create a learning partnership which will put in place plans so that local young people will be able to access the jobs created. It is anticipated that phase one of the creation of the garden will begin during 2016 and will be subject to all our relevant planning and legal processes. The plan would be for the garden to open in 2019, with various engagement activities beginning in advance of that date.