If you’ve not made it up to Edwinstowe in North Nottinghamshire in the past few months, you might not have seen the team from Robert Woodhead Ltd, hard at work creating the brand new Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, which is costing in excess of £5m.
It is being built for the 350,000 people who visit the site each year. Set to open in 2018, the centre will include information about the legendary tales of Robin Hood, and the local environment and wildlife.
The centre has been made possible thanks to a consortium led by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council, which currently manages the site, and has invested £4 million. As well as the council and the RSPB, the consortium also includes Continuum Attractions, The Sherwood Forest Trust, the Woodland Trust and Thoresby Estates, who own the land. The project was procured through Scape, which helped to drive the collaborative process from day one.
The new centre will be based in Forest Corner, just outside the village of Edwinstowe. It will include a shop and café, with a terrace and amphitheatre outside. Future plans feature the addition of a brand new play area.
This centre has been supported by a number of other organisations, including the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, which has pledged £500,000 towards the cost of the new centre. They’re joined by the Garfield Weston Foundation, which has invested £200,000 and the Supporting Local Communities fund, which has granted £40,000 to the project.
Woodhead’s Site Manager for the new Visitor Centre, Andy Stamford, said: “Work is well underway on site, we’ve got the foundations in and we’ve been working on the Glulam frame, which forms the structure of this unique building.
“There’s a lot of interest in the site from the thousands of visitors that come here – it’s going to look fantastic when it’s completed. We have a strong project team here, working closely with the RSPB to ensure everything goes to plan. We’re very pleased with progress so far and the collaborative approach between the partners.”
The consortium running the project will also manage the stunning ancient woodland within Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve (NNR), including the famous Major Oak, once the new centre is open.
Ross Frazer, the RSPB’s project manager, said “We’ve reached a really exciting phase of the build, now the wooden framework of the building is starting to go up. We can’t wait to see the completed centre and begin to start welcoming people to this fantastic landscape”.
To find out more about the project, how the concept developed with the help of the Scape Framework, and to see what happened when the project was launched – alongside Robin Hood and some local school children – please have a watch of the first project video: