Burnley park officially 'reopens' after £1.2m restoration project

Crowds gather at the official 'reopening' of Thompson Park
Crowds gather at the official 'reopening' of Thompson Park
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A Burnley park has been officially relaunched following nine months of restoration work funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Burnley Council.

Guests gathered at the new gates at Thompson Park on Sunday to watch deputy Mayor of Burnley, Coun, Anne Kelly, officially unveil the new-look park.

The day included a Fun in the Park event featuring dance, music and stalls.

Both the park’s boathouse and pavilion have been restored while retaining their original 1930s architectural features.

The boathouse is now operating as a cafe and for the first time families can enjoy refreshments in a bright and relaxing room while taking in stunning views of the boating lake.

The pavilion which enjoys an elevated position with views of the new rose garden and boating lake will soon be available for events such as school visits, fundraising events, meetings and wedding receptions.

This building is heated by a state-of-the-art biomass boiler, sustainably fuelled with wood from the council’s tree management process.

Coun. John Harbour, the council’s Executive member for housing and leisure, said: “It’s wonderful to see all the months of hard work finally paying off.

"Visitors can see how much the park has been improved and modernised, while still retaining its traditional charm and features.

"The park will now serve the community better by providing the facilities for a whole day out.”

Thanks to the council’s commitment to making Burnley a dementia friendly town, there is an accessible ramp in the Italian garden - which along with the rose garden looks resplendent - purpose-made arm rests on benches which have been lovingly restored by a volunteer, and accessible toilets in the boathouse, pavilion and toilet block.

Sean Kerr, the council’s parks development officer, said: “The feedback has been fantastic and I’m delighted to see so many new visitors and regulars.

"It has been an extremely busy period in Thompson Park and we really appreciate the patience the public has had. There are a few more things we need to do to complete the works.”