We have supplied and installed heavy-duty Strongwind parasols at multiple English Heritage sites across the UK, as part of a major rollout.
Breezefree were approached by English Heritage with a view to sourcing giant parasols suitable for contract use to serve as shade and shelter at the outdoor areas of 16 sites around the UK. With the hospitality sector being given notice that Covid-19 restrictions would be eased, the urgency to provide sufficient shelter outside the cafés and restaurants at English Heritage sites became acute. Due to the unpredictable nature of the easing restrictions under which hospitality venues would be allowed to operate, it was important that the parasols should provide sufficient outdoor cover for as many patrons as possible.
The initial brief was to provide suitable giant parasols for several sites across the UK, either permanently ground-fixed or with removable bases. We advised that Strongwind parasols would be the best choice for the rollout, as these would provide a high level of wind-resistance and durability, as many of the sites are exposed locations.
As some of the locations are by the sea, the parasols at these sites were specified with marine-grade fixings in order to increase resistance to corrosion caused by wind-driven salt water. We also recommended removable bases as the best option, to provide operational flexibility, allowing removal of the parasols to alternative areas within a site or transporting to different sites altogether.
Due to the imminent opening-up of English Heritage venues to the public as Covid restrictions were relaxed, the manufacturing and installation of the parasols was subject to a tight deadline. The parasols were delivered by the manufacturer to Breezefree in batches that would allow a phased installation schedule. As the parasols would be installed at sixteen venues as far apart as the north of England and Cornwall, this presented a logistical challenge, which was solved by having one of our installation crews dedicated solely to the English Heritage installations until they were all completed.
After all venues had taken ownership of their parasols, we also followed up at some sites with the installation of our box decking seats, made by our own team in our workshop, to create extra seating over the parasol bases.
Since installing the StrongWind parasols at historical venues as varied as the grand house and gardens at Audley End in Essex and the rugged castle of mythical folklore at Tintagel in Cornwall, the café spaces at these venues now have sheltered and shaded spaces that fit in sympathetically with their historic surroundings and architecture, where visitors can now eat and drink alfresco come rain or shine.