For our second feature in ICZ month, we’re shining the spotlight on our exciting partnership with Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). We’re working together to create a £30m national garden in Salford, including a leading centre for research, community engagement, education and training.
Garden Bridgewater will be the RHS’ fifth garden and the first phase of its development – led by world-renowned landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith – is due to be completed in 2019.
Programme director and Honorary Associate Anna da Silva, said: “It’s the first time in more than 100 years that the RHS has taken on a garden project of this size. It will be an amazing resource for generations to come.”
The plan for RHS Bridgewater will create 140 jobs and add millions to the local economy. It will also provide unique and exciting opportunities for the University to get involved and offer expertise, including:
- The garden that will act as a hands-on teaching facility looking at areas like virtual reality, ecology and wildlife, volunteering and green spaces
- The reconstruction of the 10-acre historic walled garden, which will include therapeutic, vegetable and flower gardens
- A new learning centre
Dr Nick Davies, a tourism and events management expert, in the School of Built Environment, said: “A RHS garden will be a significant tourist attraction. In order to understand its impact there are several dimensions of sustainability, with health and wellbeing the obvious one. Environmental impact is also key – RHS scientists do a lot of engagement work on how the properties of plants and gardens can counteract climate change, and flooding, and increase biodiversity. They also foster environmental awareness in the public.
“A tourist attraction of this magnitude will have significant effects on local economic multipliers, and bring in jobs to the Salford /GM area. Obviously all of these areas are congruent with research at Salford and the ICZ strategy, and the great thing is that it is on our doorstep.”