Work starts on visitor centre at Saffron Walden garden

PUBLISHED: 08:38 29 May 2015 | UPDATED: 08:38 29 May 2015

Marking the start of the Bridge End Gardens work are, from left, Anthony Skipper, chairman of the Friends of Bridge End Gardens, Jack Jones, Coulson site manager, Bill Arnold and Inger O'Meara, of the project team, Coulson senior manager Matthew Sizer, Terry Frostick of the town council and head gardener Mark Ropkins.

Marking the start of the Bridge End Gardens work are, from left, Anthony Skipper, chairman of the Friends of Bridge End Gardens, Jack Jones, Coulson site manager, Bill Arnold and Inger O'Meara, of the project team, Coulson senior manager Matthew Sizer, Terry Frostick of the town council and head gardener Mark Ropkins.

Archant

The first sledgehammers were thrown in earnest as the build of a new visitor centre at a Saffron Walden garden started earlier this week.

On Tuesday (May 26), the demolition of a Second World War air raid bunker at Bridge End Gardens, which currently houses public toilets, began to make way for a new centre with a visitor room and two toilets.

At the end of the 15-week project, which is costing around £168,000, the centre will have display panels on the garden’s heritage, conservations, planting and artistic layout.

It will also have touch screen monitors which will have more information and photographs about the themed gardens

The build has come about after a project team, made of Bill Arnold, Inger O’Meara, John Bagley and Terry Frostick, secured the funding, including almost £97,000 from Viridor Credits and Veolia Environmental Trust, through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Other grants came from The Linbury Trust, the Finis Scott Foundation, the Alan and Fay Cherry Fund, Essex County Council, Saffron Walden Town Council and Stansted Airport Community Trust.

The Friends of Bridge End Gardens, businesses in town and the Saffron Walden Round Table also contributed.

Mr Frostick, operations manager for the town council, said: “I am delighted that work on the visitor centre has started. We are looking forward to the completion of the project later in the year and the benefit it will provide to the whole community.”

Anthony Skipper, chairman of the Friends of Bridge End Gardens, added: “The Visitor Centre will provide easily assimilated information in the form of touch screens. Visitors will be able to appreciate the development of this unique Victorian Garden so that they can explore it with confidence and enjoy its many delights.”

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