Visitor centre architects
Country Park visitor centre
Visitor Centre Feasibility Study
Visitor centre business plan
Visitor centre feasibility study
Visitor Centre Feasibility Study

Visitor centre architects

Are you thinking of developing a new visitor centre which could act as a gateway hub to a wider site or enhancing an existing visitor centre, for example, increasing the size of the visitor café or redesigning the admissions or retail spaces?

We are not architects. Although we do work with architects to support the development of visitor centres across the UK.

Visitor centre architects lead on designing spaces that enhance the overall visitor experience at attractions – from nature reserves through to heritage sites, museums, country parks and forest recreation sites.

But before commissioning a design or architectural led feasibility study for your visitor centre project, we believe a first critical step is to carry out a visitor centre feasibility study which focusses on:

Consultation: To identify the needs of the clients and vision for the visitor centre and wider site, which impacts on space use requirements
Site assessment: To fully understand its position within the landscape and the locality. As part the site assessment for the visitor centre it is also important to engage with the Local Authority Planning Officer
Market analysis:  The demographic profile of the residential population living within specific drivetime catchments, trends in the visitor centre and wider visitor attraction sectors and the tourism marketplace are analysed to identify potential ‘market demand’ for the visitor centre
Assessing the competitive landscape:  To ensure the future proposals or visitor experience is distinct in the marketplace
Strategic fit: The strategic context is required to ensure the future visitor centre will help to deliver key local authority policies, which will help to build the strategic case for investment
Options appraisal: Future options for the visitor centre, which often considered as low, medium and high levels of interventions are developed and evaluated  to identify the preferred way forward (high-level costing can be provided by a QS at this stage)
Financial analysis: A high-level financial model for the preferred development scenario is prepared to identify if the visitor centre is financially viable over the long-term or will require ongoing revenue subsidy once all operational costs are taken into account

This work can be used to inform and shape the architectural design brief.

We can help you carry out this initial feasibility study – some of the visitor centre projects we have worked upon include:

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust: We worked with SMT to prepare the business plan for the Attenborough Nature Centre
Broads Authority: Working closely with the client team we carried out a feasibility study for the proposed visitor, education and boating centre
Sussex Wildlife Trust: Developed the business plan for the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre
Forestry England: Prepared the business plan for the visitor centre and supporting visitor infrastructure at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest

Added value: Managing Visitor Centres
Our team is a (little) bit different to other visitor centre business planning consultancies. Through our sister company Planning Solutions Limited, we have over 25 years of direct operational experience of managing and developing visitor centres and other leisure businesses. PSL has invested in and manages three visitor centre (CONKERS – 120-acre discovery park in Leicestershire, Kent Life – a heritage farm park in Maidstone and the Cotswold Country Park and Beach in Gloucestershire), a hotel, high ropes experiences and a brewery. This hands-on practical experience of managing visitor centres helps us to prepare robust and realistic business plans

How can we help?
If you would like to discuss a potential visitor centre project please don’t hesitate to call Richard Linington on 07866 742628 or email