The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has received a generous gift of £1.8 million from retired Hong Kong businessman and philanthropist Dr Lee Kai Hung DL to bring huge developments to the RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, set to open 11th May next year.

The donation marks the largest single gift from an individual that the RHS has received and will particularly aid the development of the garden’s Chinese Streamside Garden, which has been designed with horticultural knowledge passed on from the China Flower Association.

Ms Clare Sydney, who works with the RHS, explained that “In particular, Dr Lee’s donation will support the development of the Chinese Streamside Garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater.

“We will have the stream, footpaths, bridges, and first season’s planting in place – but this area of the Garden will continue to develop over future years’ with the addition of two stone bridges, and with the creation of an authentically Chinese core.”

Ms Clare Sydney added: “These vital funds will also be used to recruit additional staff to help achieve this aim. We hope to recruit two bilingual English and Mandarin speaking staff to work on the engagement and participation of the Chinese communities with RHS Garden.”

Dr Lee also publicly stated: “It has been my lifelong passion to bring together the people of UK and China through cultural exchange and to promote mutual understanding.

“What better way than through this spectacular project, where a classical Chinese garden will blend perfectly with the beautiful surroundings of the master plan that is RHS Garden Bridgewater”.



Previously this year, the original opening date for the garden, unfortunately, had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the RHS temporarily shutting their gardens.

The new opening date will be one week before the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, in May 2021, making the garden the first new RHS garden in 19 years.

Ms Sydney added: “RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford will be one of the biggest reasons to visit the North West.

“With a masterplan by world-renowned landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, RHS Garden Bridgewater comprises gardens and landscapes created by award-winning designers that visitors and the local community can enjoy year-round.”

The donation is not the only gift that the garden has received, with funding coming from: Salford City Council, The Garfield Weston Foundation, Dr Lee Kai Hung, Arcadia Fund – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, Chinese Streamside Garden Funding Group, EU Rural Payments Agency, The Oglesby Charitable Trust, United Utilities, National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Preston Family Charitable Settlement.

For more information about funding, click here.


Will you be visiting the RHS Bridgewater Garden when it opens?


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