The doors have officially opened at Redcar’s reborn Kirkleatham Walled Garden complex.
Redcar and Cleveland Mayor, Councillor Carole Morgan, performed the opening ceremony at the complex, which has undergone a £9.8m restoration after being closed for 30 years.
It now features formal gardens, a science garden, areas for activities and a glasshouse, along with a café, a shop and a 350-seat pavilion available for events such as weddings, dinners and corporate events.
The Walled Garden will create new jobs, traineeships and apprenticeships through its catering and horticultural academy, many of which have already been achieved during the restoration and build period.
The café will serve produce grown locally, home-baked favourites, hot meals, and hot and cold beverages.
There will also be a garden shop open all year round, with a seasonally-changing stock of garden-grown produce and plants, local craft and specialised gardening goods and books.
A programme of horticultural and crafts workshops will also take place throughout the year.
Summer opening times are 10am to 5.30pm, groups and coach parties welcome. Tickets and annual passes will be available from the shop and will include a complimentary filter coffee from the café on first visits. The public can access the centre’s 300-space car park from the new link road off the A174.
The selection of tickets will include adult single, concession single, 1 adult + 1 child, family ticket – up to 5 members – single annual pass, single concession annual pass, couples annual pass and family annual pass. The tickets prices will range between £4 for one adult single to £20 for a family annual pass.
Redcar and Cleveland Council leader, Councillor Mary Lanigan, said: “The garden will undoubtedly bring new visitors to the region and richly enhance the fantastic attractions our borough and the wider Tees Valley have to offer.
“It will bring huge economic and cultural benefits to our region and, most importantly, it will provide local jobs for local people and give them the opportunity to train for a career which will, in turn, bring prosperity and better lives for families in the future.
”Completing a complex and demanding project such as this has been a huge challenge, and particularly so during a pandemic. Council staff and our expert contractors have been up to that challenge and I’m sure you will see the efforts which have been made to ensure the garden reflects the history of the Kirkleatham estate.”
The project was funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Coastal Communities Fund and Redcar and Cleveland Council.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen added: “It’s been fantastic to witness first-hand the results of the transformation of this historic attraction, and I can’t wait for local people and visitors alike to come and see it for themselves.
“As well as being another great reason to visit Redcar, I’ve supported this scheme with more than £6million in funding because it will create good-quality jobs and traineeships, thanks to its catering and horticultural academy, helping people into jobs and on track to great careers right here in our region.”
Redcar and Cleveland Council has appointed Elior to operate the Garden. The company is a nationally-renowned business with extensive experience in the UK and internationally.
Craig Stewart, regional managing director – concessions at Elior said: “We are proud and delighted that Elior has been appointed as operator for the Kirkleatham Walled Gardens and we are keen to ensure that this historical attraction will delight those who visit it and become a major tourism destination in North-East. We are convinced that the events, workshops and catering and horticultural academy will not only attract new visitors, but also help the local community by creating new career and training opportunities.”
To register interest or provisionally hold a date at the events pavilion, email email@example.com.