Green light given for Thompson Park improvements
Burnley's historic Thompson Park is set for an exciting makeover.
Burnley Borough Council has secured a grant of £861,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the £1.19 million costs of restoring the park to its former glory.
The project aims to restore the Grade II listed park and to celebrate its heritage, from its opening in 1930 to the present day.
Council leader Coun. Mark Townsend said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this grant. We can now look forward to restoring this much loved and very popular park which will be enjoyed by the people of Burnley and our visitors for generations to come.”
The restoration project will focus on three key areas:
• Restoring the park’s traditional recreational facilities.
• Restoring the parks buildings and structures.
• Celebrating the social and cultural heritage of the park.
Michelle Wolfendon, chairman of the Friends of Thompson and Queen’s Parks, said: “The Friends group has been working with the council to improve Thompson Park for nearly 20 years and the award of this grant is a dream come true.”
The park’s original design is intact with only minor alterations and additions.
The proposed works include:
• Restoring the pavilion café for use as a multi-purpose community room with kitchen, disabled toilets and park ranger office. It will be used by visiting schools, volunteers and for Friends activities, etc.
⦁• The boathouse will be converted into a café with tables and seating to create a pleasant area to sit overlooking the lake.
• Refurbishment of existing toilets to include an improved disabled/family toilet, tiled floors and new sanitary ware.
• The paddling pool is one of the few remaining in the north west. The pool, steps and paving will be resurfaced and repainted and a new pipework installed to facilitate filling/emptying.
• Play area: Major re-vamp including introduction of sand and water play and new play equipment to replace old and worn out items.
• General improvement to the gardens and park: Restore the Italian and rose gardens, repairing bridges, resurface paths and replace noticeboards and signage
• Car parking: Create new pay and display car park with improved access from Colne Road and adequate disabled parking spaces.
The council will also launch an activity programme, working closely with local volunteers, Burnley College and Burnley Leisure on projects to explore the history of the park and surrounding area, and promote a series of weekend and school holiday sports activities.
Council officers will work with volunteers of all ages to support the maintenance of the park, including planting and other gardening work, as well as promoting its natural history.
HLF’s chief executive Ros Kerslake said on behalf of HLF and Big Lottery Fund: “Public parks play a vital role in our health and well-being. With this investment from National Lottery players, there’s real opportunity for a rejuvenated Thompson Park to deliver huge benefits to the whole community.”
Work on the restoration will start in early autumn and will be complete by Easter 2018.