New visitor attraction in Archerfield Estate

Walled Garden Project- Archerfield Estate

A £2 million project to install a new multi-use visitor attraction on the historic Archerfield Estate is currently underway.

The Archerfield Walled Garden project comprises the restoration of a B Listed wall and the construction of a new building to house a number of family friendly facilities on the Archerfield Estate, in Dirleton. The new build element of the project will include a cafe bar/restaurant, a farm deli, a micro-brewery and a craft shop with additional gallery space.

As part of the project an area of the site will also be allocated for use as a market garden to grow fresh produce that will subsequently be used in the cafe/restaurant kitchen, sold within the farm shop and to restaurants across East Lothian.

Work began on the project in July 2012. David Miller Contracts Ltd is the main contractor on the project, whilst James Clydesdale & Associates is providing all architectural services on the site.

David Miller Contracts Ltd Managing Director, David Miller, said:

“On this project we are involved with pretty much every aspect of the site with the exception of mechanical and electrical works, so that includes groundworks through to steel fabrication, erection and roofing.

“We have been involved with similar projects to this in the past so working on a site such as this is very important to us. The Archerfield Walled Garden is currently our largest project. We have an excellent working relationship with Archerfield Estates Limited, the client on this project and we hope to continue this as we complete the remaining work on the site.”

The significant investment for the Archerfield Walled Garden project by the Archerfield Estates is testimony to the company’s belief in the significant potential for a quality development in East Lothian.

The single storey building being constructed on the site measures 1,404 sq metres and is being built from a steel frame with timber cladding. Once work is complete on the building, the facility will be heated using a biomass boiler, whilst a number of additional energy efficient schemes, such as the inclusion of LED lighting, will also be incorporated into the site.

As work is taking place on the historic landscape of the Archerfield Estate, all work is being conducted sensitively and in conjunction with Historic Scotland who have provided support and guidance to the design team. The local council has also been supportive of a project that is anticipated to create over 25 full-time equivalent positions once work is complete.

Archerfield Estates Chief Executive, Fraser Niven, said:

“Before work began on the project we conducted a feasibility study to decide what would provide the most viable business opportunities in the area. Various ideas were put forward, but the micro brewery, cafe and retail elements were the facilities which proved most popular during the research stages.

“Three crafted ales are already being brewed in preparation for the launch of the new visitor facilities. The ales are being marketed under the Archerfield Fine Ales brand and we anticipate more to come in the future.”

Spokesman for Economic Development and Tourism, Councillor John McMillan, added:

“The plans for a micro-brewery and retail space at Archerfield are very exciting and offer further employment opportunities within East Lothian.

“In recent years the council has led a strong marketing initiative focusing on the county’s food and drink products and the addition of a micro-brewery will, I’m sure, complement the existing quality producers.”

To date, the steel frame of the new building has been erected and the roof and drainage systems are currently being installed. Once the structure has been completed the internal fit-out will take place to create the unique elements of the site, including the micro-brewery.

Fraser added:

“This is a long term trading business for Archerfield Estate so it is commercially important for us. We are working closely with the community to ensure that we cater for everyone and we believe this site is going to be a very successful visitor attraction for East Lothian.

“The project brings the walled garden element of the site back to life through the addition of an exciting new hospitality facility and as the Archerfield Estate is situated between two villages we are making the site very child friendly to encourage local families to come and visit us.

“In addition, we are working with a social enterprise offering opportunities for people with special needs to work in the gardens which is also another exciting aspect to the project. We anticipate that this element will help make the Archerfield Walled Garden a very significant development for this area of Scotland.”

The project is currently scheduled to reach completion in March 2013.

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