Participating Project

Project information

The Wolseley Centre

We need to update the Wolseley Centre to create a better experience for people who visit to explore the wildlife and habitats our site offers.

We will be building a new cafe, improving facilities for disabled people, improving interpretation and introducing new features across our well visited site

2 years

Charity information: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Limited

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Limited logo
  • Need

    Need

    The Wolseley Centre is the HQ of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and includes 26 acres of accessible wildlife habitat including lakes, meadows, woodlands and riverbank. The site receives 100,000 visits each year.

    It is almost 15 years since the site opened and it is very tired and needs to be brought up to modern standards with better facilities for visitors.

    The site currently runs at a cost to the organisation. By introducing a cafe we will generate a sustainable source of income.

    Solution

    The existing education centre will be converted into a cafe with education space being created elsewhere on site. The existing interpretation room and shop will be developed into a multi-functional retail / reception area with changes to external walls to open up views across the lakes.

    The car park area, which is potholed, dusty and too small will be revamped, with additional overflow spaces being made available.

    The inadequate toilets will be upgraded and mains sewerage installed.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Creation of a financially sustainable cafe

    Activities

    » The education rooms will be converted into a cafe

    The cafe will be generating profits that will support the work of the charity


    Aim 2

    Creation of a visitor welcome area

    Activities

    » The existing retail / interpretation room will be converted into a multi-functional retail / reception area

    The visitor welcome area will have been built


    Aim 3

    The visitor experience will be improved

    Activities

    » Improvements will be made to the external environment around the Wolseley Centre to improve accessibility and interpretation

    Feedback from visitors will be positive


  • Impact

    Impact

    The project will generate a sustainable source of income for the charity's work. This will contribute to the running costs of the Wolseley Centre, so it remains a place that is free for people to visit, and also support the wider work of the charity to protect and enhance wildlife and wild places in Staffordshire.

    Risk

    The main risks are around the Return on Investment (ROI) for the works that are proposed versus the cost of the capital investment that is needed.

    Over the last 18 months we have worked closely with consultants and architects to ensure the proposals are designed at a cost that will provide an appropriate ROI.

    Reporting

    Donors that are members of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust will be able to read about the project in our members magazine. We'll also be issuing press releases and social media updates throughout.

    All donors will be invited to an opening event when the works are finished.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £518,265

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £19,000 Cafe Connection to mains sewer
      £125,000 Cafe formation and kit-out of cafe
      £11,500 signage new signs and roadside features
      £17,000 external works formation of boardwalk bridge + play area
      £50,000 Toilets Re-ordering of toilets
      £100,000 external works Re-surfacing & demarcation of car park
      £82,000 Interior works Formation of entrance space & reception
      £113,765 VAT & Fees VAT + Professional Fees + Contingency
  • Background

    Location

    The Wolseley Centre is located near Rugeley in Staffordshire directly off the busy A51.

    The Wolseley Centre comprises of 26 acres of lakes, meadows, woodland and riverside walks which are free to access by the public. 100,000 visits take place each year.

    Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has its headquarters at the Wolseley Centre in a building that opened in 2003. The building is mainly offices, but includes a small retail space, interpretation room and toilets. Visitor facilities are poor.

    Beneficiaries

    Around 100,000 people visit the Wolseley Centre each year. These visitors include people of all ages.

    During the week the site tends to be visited by older people who enjoy a pleasant stroll through the grounds. At weekends and school holidays the site is very busy with families and children who enjoy the many trails and activities that the site has to offer.

    We also host around 10,000 school children each year who visit our environmental education centre.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Staffordshire Wildlife Trust owns the Wolseley Centre and the grounds.

    The centre has been a huge success since it opened in 2003. At least 1 million people have visited us. But this success comes at a price and our facilities are looking tired and no longer meet visitor expectations.

    Our plan is to upgrade the facility, including changes to the interior and exterior visitor experience and also establish a new cafe which will generate a sustainable income source for the charity.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Julian Woolford

    Julian is the Chief Executive of the Trust and is driving forward the project with support from Trustees and staff.