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 has been restricted because there was no appropriate reception and visitor centre within the park to welcome people and provide a venue for activities. The purpose of the new 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 has been 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 has been constructed such that it is harmonious within its setting with timber weather boarding externally, a simple gable roof supported by exposed purlins and clad with clay roof tiles. The front porch provides cover, while at the rear of the meeting room is a glazed extension with French doors opening out with easy access to the park.
The building is the “hub” for the Trust, providing 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 can host additional recreational events and further encourage school parties to use the Park. The meeting area in the centre of the building will be used to host some of the Trust’s events.
The building was completed in June 2018 and the outside areas are now being landscaped and planted.