Forestry Commission Scotland
From what it was like a year ago, it’s been a complete transformation and everybody is thrilled to bits with it.”
Susan Nash | Project Manager, Forestry Commission Scotland
Transforming two Forestry Commission Scotland visitor centres to boost visitor numbers and increase revenue.
Steady income created through lease of management and maintenance and new parking facilities
Forestry Commission Scotland's (FCS) key role is to manage Scotland's National Forest Estate whilst maintaining sustainability and improving it for future generations. Their visitor centres provide recreational areas for local communities, draw in tourists and create jobs. They are also places where people can learn about Scotland's forests and the importance of conservation.
As part of the build, it was imperative that the visitor centres contributed to meeting the aspirations of the FCS strategic plan. Scape’s Frameworks encouraged a collaborative approach throughout the design and construction of the centre, which involved working closely with the client throughout planning and building to ensure the refurbishments were sustainable, accessible and visitor friendly.
The refurbishment work has transformed both The Lodge and Queen’s View Visitor Centre into award-winning visitor attractions, which will draw in new tourism and provide a focal point for the local community, whilst achieving the aspirations set out in FCS’ Strategic Plan.
Both locations have been enthusiastically received by FCS and the general public. The modernised facilities include cafes, toilets and gift shops – providing all of the services needed for a great day out.
The sustainable buildings are modern and staff are now able to focus on creating a great visitor experience rather than maintenance. The Lodge has even been awarded a five star rating from Visit Scotland.
The Lodge was costing a lot money in maintenance while the shop and cafe were losing money. Since the refurbishment we now lease the entire management and maintenance of the building including the shop and cafe so they are providing us with a steady stream of income. Most importantly our visitors have welcomed the new look and improved offer. The facility was awarded a 5 Star visitor attraction grading which we are delighted about and work closely with staff, operators and volunteers to ensure we continue to maintain a quality visitor experience.
Communities, Recreation and Tourism Manager at Forestry Commission Scotland
The extended time taken in pre-construction, particularly during the feasibility and concept design stages in defining the client’s requirements, proved invaluable when ensuring the project delivery achieved the client’s objectives. We had a Contractor led design team who went that extra mile to ensure the correct balance was achieved between available budget and client aspirations.
Head of Building Consultancy Scotland at Pick Everard
Both The Lodge and Queen’s View are one-offs, but they have provided the client with baselines for any future visitor attractions that may be produced in the future. Minor works that were carried out during The Lodge were the creation of a wildlife hide and standardised toilet blocks. Two of the toilet modules have been installed in Forestry Commission sites at Ardentinney and Slattadale. The wildlife hide will be replicated across other Forestry Commission sites in the future.
Commercial Manager at Robertson Scotland
The Lodge - feasibility and planning
November 2011 to September 2012 (43 weeks)
The Lodge - construction
Completed on 19th August 2013 (38 weeks)
Visitor Centre - feasibility and planning
February 2013 to September 2013 (34 weeks)
Visitor Centre - construction
Completed on 27th May 2014 (34 weeks)
Visit Scotland rating achieved
5 Star - The Lodge
Gold Award for Green Tourism
David Marshall Lodge
Silver Award for Green Tourism
Queen's View Visitor Centre
Local labour employed within 40 miles
Client satisfaction - defects
Client satisfaction - service
Client satisfaction - product
Client satisfaction - health and safety