Car parking charges at Wakehurst Place
Later this spring we will be introducing charges for car parking at Wakehurst. The charges are likely to commence from mid to late April, but the exact timing will depend on the completion of the installation works.
18 Feb 2014
The Mansion at Wakehurst
Joint statement between National Trust and Kew
In a joint statement Sir Simon Jenkins, Chairman, National Trust, and Marcus Agius, Chairman, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said:
'The National Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have been working together to find a sustainable future for Kew at Wakehurst Place.
'The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew currently maintains the gardens, woodlands and the Mansion at Wakehurst Place, in accordance with a lease from the National Trust. Despite being run efficiently and effectively, the net cost to Kew of running Wakehurst Place is such that we have reached a point where greater income is needed if we are to continue our outstanding horticultural standards and the wonderful visitor experience that have made Wakehurst one of the Trust’s most popular properties.
'We have agreed that the best way to raise this much needed income is through the introduction of car parking charges in April 2014.'
Additional parking fee
Wakehurst Place Season Ticket holders, Friends of Kew and those who purchase a day ticket to enter Wakehurst will not need to pay the additional fee for car parking.
National Trust members will retain their free entry to Wakehurst Place, but will pay to park. Cars will cost annually from £25, £2 for the first hour, £5 for two hours and £10 per day
Group visits in minibuses and coaches will either pay the current discounted group entry rate for each passenger, or an agreed fee based on the number of paying visitors in the coach.
As well as allowing Kew to maintain the current high standards at Wakehurst Place, the charging model allows Kew to link directly its income to the number of visitors. This, in turn, opens the door to investing in the landscape and visitor offer.
Why we are doing this
Wakehurst is owned by the National Trust and Kew has maintained the gardens and woodlands through a lease since 1965. Currently around 320,000 National Trust members benefit from free entry and free parking at Wakehurst annually. An endowment left to the National Trust contributes £80,000 a year to Wakehurst but, despite income from commercial activities contributing £750,000, Kew is still left with an annual deficit of £1.4 million, which is not sustainable.
A number of income generation options were explored with the National Trust and a representative group of National Trust Wakehurst visitors, and the preferred option was the introduction of parking charges. This will allow Kew to link income directly to visitor numbers for the first time, contributing £500,000 a year to the deficit, which will be vital for the future of Wakehurst.
We want to invest in Wakehurst and continue to offer a world class garden and nature reserve and programme of events for our visitors. The introduction of car parking charges will help us to do this.
Consideration has been made for our regular visitors by introducing a Wakehurst Place Season ticket, available from 1st April 2014 from just £25, which includes:
- free entry to the gardens and Millennium Seed Bank all year round
- free car parking
- one free ticket to Kew Gardens (worth £14.50)
- two free exclusive open evenings, 10% off purchases in the Visitor Centre Shop and Plant Centre (some exclusions apply)
The support of our visitors is vital to our long term future and we are grateful to the huge number of people who visit the Gardens every year. That’s why we want to explain the reasons for our decision and give you a chance to have your say on the change.
Richard Deverell, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Andy Jackson, Director, Wakehurst Place, and Andy Semple, National Trust Director for London and South East, will be hosting public consultation meetings for any visitors to Wakehurst who would like to ask questions or find out any further information.
They will be taking place on the following dates and times:
Monday 17 March
Morning session: 10.30am – fully booked
Afternoon session: 1pm – 37 attendees
Monday 24 March
Morning session: 10.30am – 26 attendees
Afternoon session: 1pm – 21 attendees
New evening session
Monday 24 March 7 - 8pm
Please contact email@example.com or telephone 01444 894067 to register your interest, stating clearly which session you wish to attend.
All sessions will take place in the Dining Room in the Mansion.
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