A £30-million project in Salford could bring £11 million in tourism per year.
RHS Garden Bridgewater, the largest garden project in Europe, has estimated to attract 700,000 tourists into the ‘dirty old town’.
The project could generate £11 million a year, 10 years after its planned opening in 2020.
Derek Antrobus, the Planning and Sustainability Councillor of Salford, claimed that the numbers could rise to between 1 million to 1.1 million.
Councillor Antrobus said: “We know that there are certainly benefits coming from tourism and you can measure that but there are certain benefits from health.
“There’s more opportunity for people to walk and cycle and adopt a healthy lifestyle, that has a knock on benefit to the health services and health spending overall and we know that’s one of the big challenges for Salford and Greater Manchester.”
Yet with the increase of tourism into Salford could there be the possibility of a negative impact?
Dr. Nicholas Davies, a former lecturer in Sustainability and Tourism at the University of Salford, explained that in order to understand the impacts, it is important to take into account the need to appreciate that there are several dimensions of sustainability.
Dr. Davies said: “In terms of potential negative impacts there are some because obviously an attraction like this does involve people having to get there.
“If they expect to have millions of people coming in and out of the Bridgewater gardens then it’s going to need managing in terms of the carbon emissions.
“Unless they’ve got something solid in terms of public transport, sustainable motor transport and some kind of travel plan that allows people to get there without driving then there is that possibility there would be a lot more cars that are trying to get there.”
The first phase of the project includes the restoration of the four-hectare kitchen wall garden, which is one of the largest in the UK.
There are further plans for an education and therapeutic garden, two lakes and a host of community spaces.
For further information on the RHS Garden Bridgewater project visit the website: https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/bridgewater