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21 Jan 2020

RHS Garden Bridgewater to open in July 2020

Today, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) announces that its fifth garden and first new garden for nearly two decades, RHS Garden Bridgewater, is opening to the public from Thursday, 30 July 2020.

The creation of RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, Greater Manchester, is one of the most significant events in the Society’s 215-year history. Once open, the garden will bring world-class horticulture within an hour’s journey of 8.2 million people in the region.

RHS Director General, Sue Biggs; “I am thrilled to be able to announce the opening date for the first phase of RHS Garden Bridgewater. To mark this momentous occasion, there will be a ten-day opening programme of events and celebrations at Bridgewater in August.”

When the RHS first discovered the 154-acre site, the former grounds of Worsley New Hall had not been cultivated for decades. Thanks to a dedicated and growing team and the help of hundreds of local volunteers, the site is transforming and is currently the biggest project of its kind in Europe.

World-renowned landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith created the Bridgewater masterplan. Its centrepiece, the 11-acre Weston Walled Garden, is one of the UK’s biggest, measuring the size of six football pitches and comprising 11 gardens, including the Paradise Garden, Kitchen Garden, Wellbeing Garden and Community grow spaces.

Head of RHS Garden Bridgewater, Richard Green, adds; “We still have a tremendous amount of work to do before opening but thanks to a brilliant team; amazing local support; generous donations from multiple supporters, partners and members, we are on track and look forward to welcoming visitors this summer.”

RHS Garden Bridgewater is creating almost one hundred jobs, from tree surgeons to therapists, as well as apprenticeships and learning opportunities. Up to 7,000 local schoolchildren will benefit free-of-charge each year from having this abundant, green learning resource on their doorstep.

As custodians of the historic Bridgewater Estate, Peel L&P has been looking for a 21st century use for the former Worsley New Hall for many years and RHS Garden Bridgewater is the perfect opportunity to bring part of the estate back to life and link up other key destinations across Salford and Greater Manchester like the Bridgewater Canal.

Stephen Wild, Peel L&P’s Executive Director of Strategic Investment and Growth said: “RHS Garden Bridgewater is a really important project for Peel L&P and one that will promote sustainability and well being to the people of Salford and beyond as well as boosting the region’s economy.

“It’s a place that we’re sure will be enjoyed by families and people of all ages and we’re excited to have a final opening date for the public to visit this amazing world-class tourist attraction.”

The garden will continue to grow with further investment into ambitious future plans, including an arboretum, a Northern College of Horticulture, an architecturally stunning glasshouse and renovation of the lost Nesfield terraces.

The garden is enabled by Salford City Council and Peel L&P. Charitable funding to create the garden has been given by a number of funders.* More information on supporting the project can be found here.

Tickets will be on sale later this spring. Entry will be free to RHS members and will initially cost less than £10 for non-members. All Salford residents will be able to access the garden for free every Tuesday for the first year.