The park is gradually becoming better known in the district. The Trust would like to build upon its successes so far and encourage more people to visit, but is restricted because there is no appropriate reception and visitor centre within the park to welcome people and provide a venue for activities. The purpose of the building is to create a flexible environment, ideally positioned to welcome an ever increasing number of visitors and provide a base from which they can then explore the many diverse and interesting features that Highfield Park has to offer.
It is being built on the old storage compound adjacent to the car park on the ‘Cell Barnes’ side of the park near West Lodge.
The design is relatively simple with an office to and staff room / kitchen to one side of a central meeting room and another office and storage facilities to the other. A large toilet is provided for general use and is accessible from the main lobby. The building will be constructed such that it is harmonious within its setting and will have timber weather boarding externally, a simple gable roof supported by exposed purlins and clad with clay roof tiles. The front porch will provide cover, while at the rear of the meeting room is a glazed extension with French doors opening out onto the park rear which will allow it to be used for school parties and other events.
The building will provide a new “hub” for the Trust, provide a focal point for information and a point of contact in case of emergencies. It will enable the Trust to expand its charitable work since it would be able to host additional recreational events and further encourage school parties to use the Park. The meeting area in the centre of the building can be used to host some of the Trust’s events including school parties.
The building is scheduled for completion in May 2018.