Plans to transform the existing visitor centre and build new outdoor facilities are on show until the end of November, as part of £2 million investment to improve Hampshire’s largest country park.
Councillor Andrew Gibson, the County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, said: “These are exciting times for our five country parks, including Queen Elizabeth, as we improve visitor facilities and make more of their natural and historical features. Visitor expectations have changed over the years, with greater competition from other sites and attractions, so it’s essential we invest now, to help them become more financially self sustaining in the future. The plans for Queen Elizabeth include a lighter and brighter visitor centre with a bigger restaurant and indoor event space, as well as various new outdoor play equipment for children and grown ups alike to enjoy. We welcome visitor feedback on the plans which will be displayed at the Park’s theatre until the end of the month.”
Proposed improvements in and around the existing visitor centre include:
- Bigger restaurant with more seating
- Flexible hall available for indoor events and for hire
- Improved landscaping and shelter in the courtyard
- Better car parking
In addition, the ‘Forts and Fleets’ project, part-funded by £163,350 from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, aims to bring military and civilian communities closer together through a shared love of the outdoors. This includes building new outdoor facilities such as:
- Adventure play area
- Assault course
- Dog activity course
- Community space
Works for the ‘Forts and Fleets’ project are due to be finished by January 2018, with works in and around the visitor centre due for completion in 2019. Visitors can provide feedback on plans to improve Queen Elizabeth Country Park on-site or by email firstname.lastname@example.org until the end of November.
Hampshire County Council and partner organisations are also investing in new or improved visitor centres and play facilities at Lepe Country Park in the New Forest, Royal Victoria Country Park at Netley, Staunton Country Park at Havant and Manor Farm and River Hamble Country Park at Bursledon.