Work is set to begin on the new visitor centre at Cirencester Park.

Construction at the Old Kennels will start this spring and follows the opening of the car park there in November.

The centre will replace derelict stables and house a cafe and play area, while further buildings and courtyard space will be made available for outlets, events and workshops.

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It comes as the Bathurst Estate reviews plans for a 'community access scheme'. 

The scheme could mean residents will eventually need an entry pass to unlock the gates, with tourists being charged for entry.

While details are yet to be finalised, permission was granted last year to fit automatic gate closers, electric keeps and keypads to the existing pedestrian gates.

Peter Clegg, the Bathurst Estate’s CEO, said: “We’re looking forward to delivering dedicated facilities to meet our visitors’ needs.

"This forms part of a wider, long-term investment strategy to restore and maintain Cirencester Park’s historic Grade I listed landscape while adapting and evolving to meet modern-day visitor requirements.

From Electric Vehicle points in the new car park to resurfaced walkways, from an innovative cafe to lavatories and baby changing facilities, we aim to make the Park an accessible and enjoyable place for all.”

Further plans included enhancing the parkland to the north of The Old Kennels, plus a cherry blossom avenue along a new path that connects the complex to Cirencester Park Caravan Club.

Lord Bathurst said: “It is exciting to see a new chapter being opened as the Estate evolves to meet the growing demands of

the 21st century.

"The Old Kennels were built to house the VWH (Earl Bathurst) foxhounds and horses up until 1963. From there on, they have been used for liveries, as a mechanic’s workshop, saddlery and brewery (both still in operation), offices and residential housing.

"Now in need of a complete facelift, with new life being injected into them, an opportunity has arisen to meet the increased public demand to use the Park through the creation of a welcoming centre; I am sure it will greatly improve the visitor experience.”