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Centre of Excellence for Horticultural Science & Learning

Last updated 06 September 2019
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Excellence for Horticultural Science & Learning

Project description

The Centre of Excellence for Horticultural Science & Learning is part of a £72.4 million investment at RHS Garden Wisley which will significantly improve an already world-class visitor experience and incorporates three new major hubs within the garden:

  • A new Centre of Excellence for Horticultural Science & Learning
  • A landmark investment in modern scientific labratories and learning facilities.
  • A new reimagined Visitor Welcome Building which unites all visitor facilities in one space with membership areas, state-of-the-art plant centre, an expanded gift and book shop, café and new restaurant and spectacular landscaping at the garden entrance, and includes improved car-parking and visitor entrance.
  • Transformation of the Grade II Listed Laboratory Building at Wisley, opening this historic building to the public for the first time ever, and conservation of its valuable heritage and scientific collections. 
  • Investment is also being made in Wisley Village to ensure it becomes a thriving local community and continues as an important housing resource for staff who are key workers in the garden, and all of the students and apprentices learning at Wisley.

Enterprise M3's investment mainly focuses on the Centre of Excellence but also includes some of the above works. Enterprise M3 are giving this Grant Funding to the Royal Horticultural Society under the General Block Exemption Regulation, Article 53 - Aid for culture and heritage conservation. A State Aid notification was published on: 19/11/2018 and the link to it can be found here.

Project output

The overall scheme aims to achieve the creation of 140.5 FTE jobs and safeguard a further 1116 FTE jobs. The Centre of Excellence specifically will achieve 20.5 jobs directly with the Royal Horticultural Society and a further 11 jobs within the onsite catering franchise. Further to this, the benefits of this scheme to the M3 LEP include:

  • Enhanced visibility of the area due to the location of an authoritative horticultural scientific organisation.
  • Enhanced status of highly skilled permanent science posts.
  • An upsurge in relevant RHS-supported science for delivery to RHS members, industry partners; and UK amateur gardeners. 
  • An upgrade of the quality of science output and research from the Society. 
  • An increase in the numbers of publications on horticultural science in prestigious scientific journals.
  • The delivery of Horticulture Matters, the RHS-led campaign to close the skills-gap within the sector.

Key Outputs

Start date:

End date:

Amount financed: £1.1 million

Total cost: £72.4 million

Status: In progress

Project Lead: Chris Quintana

Themes: Innovation


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