Rufford Abbey Country Park, managed by Parkwood Leisure, has been approached by Nottinghamshire County Council to make the site 5G interactive, as part of the council’s 5G Connected Forest project. 

Working collaboratively with a number of partner organisations, the project will improve digital connectivity at the park, and be a test bed for the technology. 

5G is the fifth generation of cellular networks, bringing new capabilities that will create opportunities for people, businesses and society. The evolution of the technology will enable people to share their experiences at the beauty spot faster than ever before.

As part of the £814,000 project, Parkwood Leisure will work alongside Theme 3, a customer experience organisation who specialise in bringing interactive technology to heritage sites.

Furthermore, the ‘interactive hub’ for the park will be created as part of the project. The interactive hub will be an online function to create fun and educational challenges for guests, with the overall objective of enhancing visitor experience within the site. 

The introduction of 5G is an exciting development for Rufford Country Park, which was founded as a Cistercian monastery in the 12th century. The site, rich with history, was used as a station base during the Second World War, and has since evolved over time to become one of the nation’s favourite attractions.

Glen Hall, Managing Director of Parkwood Leisure, has said of the project:

“We are delighted to be taking part in the 5G Connected Forest project and we hope it will give our visitors a platform to share their experiences at the park. We have worked closely with Nottinghamshire County Council to deliver this platform and we are confident it will be a success. The investment into this project shows our commitment to making our visitors have the best experience possible. The interactive hub is a key example of the ideas and innovation shown by the team and I would like to thank them for their hard work.”


Editors’ notes
Parkwood Leisure is one of the UK’s leading leisure facilities operators, working in partnership with local authorities to increase participation in sport and physical activity and improve the quality of service delivered to communities nationwide. 
First launched in 1995 as Glendale Leisure, the organisation pioneered a new model of working by drawing upon its private sector expertise to help local authorities improve the effectiveness and efficiency of leisure facility management.
In 2002 the company became Parkwood Leisure and today, is responsible for more than 80 sites in over 30 local authorities across England and Wales.
Its core services include leisure facility management, Design-Build-Operate-Maintain (DBOM) projects under its sister company Parkwood Project Management (PPM) and community spaces management. 
Parkwood also works in partnership with government organisations including Sport England, UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust, as well as a number of sport-specific national governing bodies, to continuously improve the quality and availability of its programmes and activities. 
Parkwood operates a diverse portfolio of sites under its ‘Leisure Centre’, ‘Parkwood Outdoors’ and ‘Parkwood Theatres’ brands. 
The Consortium is led by Nottinghamshire County Council and includes Nottingham-based ISPB Consultancy Services, who are testing the commercial potential for these new developments, alongside  Nottingham Trent University, Birmingham City University, The Harworth Group, Gooii, Netmore IOT Solutions, Stagecoach East Midlands, Parkwood Outdoors and in partnership with RSPB which manage Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre on behalf of the County Council.