Arboretum Development project kicks off with design meeting

Exciting plans to develop the visitor facilities at Harcourt Arboretum are underway, with an initial site meeting held for the newly appointed design team from Purcell.

Purcell’s team of architects, heritage consultants and masterplanners will be working on the plans for a proposed Visitor and Learning Centre, which would include new all-weather education facilities, café and shop.

Lesley Best, Project Manager for the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum, said: “We are excited to be working with Purcell on this major project for the Arboretum, looking at how we can create a Visitor and Learning Centre that will transform the visitor experience, and help a wider audience of local communities benefit from our 130 acres of Grade One Listed heritage landscape. The initial site meeting was very positive, and I am looking forward to seeing our vision come to life with the help of Purcell.”

Nicola Hewes, Regional Partner, Purcell said: “We are delighted to have been appointed for the design and delivery of the new Visitor and Learning Centre at the Arboretum. Such a special site deserves an innovative and sustainable design solution and we are looking forward to collaborating with the University and Arboretum team to realise this exceptional project”

The project, currently in the initial development phase, is being made possible by National Lottery players, with £191,420 development funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

As well as creating a new Visitor and Learning Centre, the project will focus on building partnerships with local communities and increasing wellbeing through access to nature. Another key benefit of the project will be increasing awareness of the importance of plants and biodiversity in addressing global challenges, heritage landscapes, and crafts, through inspiring interpretation.

Find out more about the project here.