One of Burnley’s best-loved parks will receive almost £1m. if its development plans are approved by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Burnley Council has secured initial funding of £49,100 from the HLF to draw up proposals to restore Thompson Park to its former glory.
Britain’s famous green spaces are so important for giving people a place to get together, relax and exercise, and have a vital role in strengthening our local communitiesHeritage Minister Tracey Crouch
The Stage 1 grant will be used to develop a major restoration scheme in more detail before making a larger application next year.
If the Stage 2 application is successful the total HLF award would be £860,100, which would go towards the overall £1.16m. cost of restoring the park.
The remainder of that figure would come from the council, external grants and volunteers.
If approved, restoration work would start in early 2017 and take 12 months to complete.
It would include:
Restoring the pavilion café for use as a multi-purpose community room, including an exhibition space, kitchen, disabled toilets and rangers’ office
Refurbishing the boathouse with extended decking area and improving the refreshment kiosk
Repairing damaged trees at the boating lake
Making improvements to the paddling pool
Refurbishing the play area including replacing worn out equipment
Restoring the Italian Garden, including the columns and shelters, and reinstatement of the central pond and fountain
Coun. Bea Foster, the council’s Executive member for leisure and culture, was delighted with the initial funding “We’re over the moon at this great news,” she said.
“Ever since the application was put in we’ve had our fingers crossed for a positive outcome and now it’s arrived.
“It’s a testimony to all the hard work council Green Spaces’ staff, the friends of the park and others have put in to ensure we get this much-needed cash boost for what is a very popular and very lovely asset to the whole borough.
“Now we have to make sure we put together a further, more detailed submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“We’ll be making sure we involve the park’s users in that and in restoring and celebrating the history of this beautiful, award-winning park.”
The boon comes as part of £34m. invested in 16 parks across the country including Winckley Square Gardens, Preston, and Peel Park, Salford.
Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said: “This investment will breathe new life into each of these historic parks and cemeteries, making them great places for people to enjoy.
“Britain’s famous green spaces are so important for giving people a place to get together, relax and exercise, and have a vital role in strengthening our local communities.”