The National Trust, Norfolk

Project location & overview

Leading heritage conservation charity the National Trust has appointed Greyfriars Project Management to deliver two development projects at sites in Norfolk.

The projects at Horsey Windpump and Morston Quay involve the design and construction of new building spaces to meet the needs of the team and visitors.

Working with a leading charity

The National Trust is a charity and membership organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Founded in 1895, the charity is Europe’s leading charity focusing on heritage conservation to protect properties and places of historic interest, nature or beauty.

Millions of National Trust members, volunteers, staff and donors help the charity care for coastline, woodlands, historic buildings, collections and countryside across the nation, for the benefit of everyone.

Morston Quay is situated on the North Norfolk coastline. With a visitor centre, walking trails and a surrounding landscape of Blakeney Point and salt marshes, the site is visited by keen walkers, bird watchers and seal spotters.

Horsey Windpump is located in the Broads National Park. Featuring an iconic Grade II* listed building with a rich history, visitors are able to walk to the top for panoramic views of the Broadland landscape.

The National Trust wishes to develop both sites with the design and construction of new building spaces.

Developing Horsey Windpump and Morston Quay

The main aim of both projects is to improve the experience of both visitors and staff on the sites, including making them more accessible to all visitors.

The project at Morston Quay involves the construction of a new building which will relieve issues with toilet capacity, provide extra functionality for staff and improve the flow of people around the site for a better visitor experience.

It also includes the construction of accessible paths and changing facilities.

At Horsey Windpump, construction of a flexible and future-proof permanent operations building, complete with a visitor welcome area and office space, will improve the day-to-day operations of staff as well as boost the experience for visitors.

Delivering the project on time and on budget

Both projects are complex jobs, involving work in busy visitor areas surrounded by areas rich in heritage and natural beauty.

Here at Greyfriars Project Management, we were appointed by the National Trust to deliver both projects from outline design to construction, subject to planning permission.

To ensure the timely completion of these works, we are providing a number of services, including:

  • Project management services, supporting and coordinating the delivery of both projects
  • Providing tools for tracking and monitoring project progress, such as risk register, action logs, key decisions log and finance tracker
  • Procurement of project team specialists (design and planning)
  • Managing the project, including updating all tools and delivering regular monthly reporting
  • Overseeing the development of the planning application
  • Developing and leading consultation delivery, including engaging with National Trust teams
  • Attending stakeholder meetings

Working on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Both projects are located within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Therefore, we are taking special care on the design of the projects, including making use of materials that blend into the surrounding areas.

We have appointed a team of consultants in different disciplines, including ecology, landscape architecture, historical assets, arboriculture, structural engineering, architects, town planning, M&E, GI and topographical.

As both projects are in an AONB, landscape is of great importance. Landscape architects are helping ensure designs are suitable for the site and the surrounding landscape.

In addition, as Morston Quay is located in an area close to listed buildings, historical assets experts are helping ensure the project design is low profile, doesn’t stand out from the undisturbed landscape and fits in well with the buildings in the area.

Horsey Windpump is itself a Grade II* listed building, so it’s vital that the design of its new visitor’s centre doesn’t compete with the existing structure. Historical assets experts are on hand to ensure the visitor’s centre will be a suitably low-profile building.

Also, it’s incredibly important to have ecologists on site as they help to make sure the projects will not impact the local ecology and will have minimal disturbance. Biodiversity Net Gain is also being contemplated.

Incorporating sustainability

Both new projects will be designed and constructed with the environment in mind, ensuring the surrounding areas are respected and carbon impact is minimised.

The National Trust takes special care in sustainability, so a comprehensive list of sustainable design principles is being considered, including responsible sourcing policies, responsible supplier practices, environmental policies and energy efficiency, among other principles.

Working towards the next steps

As of February 2024, we are finalising the architectural concept in order to proceed to Investment Board Approval.

Once Investment Board Approval has been received, we will begin the planning application and prepare for tender for contractors.

Need help with project management?

Here at Greyfriars Project Management, we are an expert team of skilled and highly-knowledgeable project managers.

In addition to the charity sector, we work with the public and private sector on development and infrastructure projects which aim to provide a real benefit to the public.

Whether you need full project management or ad-hoc support, we are on hand to help.

Get in touch today to find out more.

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