£30.7m grants awarded to 16 parks across the UK

Marble Hill Park, Twickenham
Marble Hill Park, Twickenham

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund have awarded more than £30.7million to 16 UK parks.

Among the major grants are Dover’s popular Kearsney Abbey and adjoining grade II listed Russell Gardens (£3,115,000), an early example of the work of Edwardian landscape architect Thomas Mawson; and Marble Hill Park, Twickenham (£4,356,000).

North Marine Park, South Shields, will receive  £2,644,000 to reinstate its grottos, refurbish the pavilion, reintroduce traditional park games, introduce a new planting scheme and convert the unused bowling shelter to a cafe; and Bailey Hill Park, Mold, gets £961,700 for improvements to the 1920s park surrounding an 11th century motte and bailey castle.

Others grants awarded were: Durlston Country Park, Dorset ( £983,000); Faversham Recreation Ground, Kent (£1,719,800); Great Linford Manor grounds, Milton Keynes (£3,483,000); Headstone Manor Recreation Park, Harrow (£1,356,600); Beddington Park, Wallington (£3,009,400); Bowring Park, Knowsley, Merseyside  (£1,848,500); Hunstanton Heritage Gardens, Norfolk (£993,900); Wyndham Park, Grantham (£818,100); Aden Country Park, Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire (£1,399,500); Levengrove Park, Dumbarton (£2,772,100); Parc Cefn Onn, Cardiff (£459,900); Warrenpoint Municipal Park, Newry, County Down (£850,000).

A combined 6,000 volunteers and trainees will also be involved across the projects, taking part in everything from archaeological excavations and river clean ups, to learning new skills and gaining horticultural qualifications.

HLF’s Chair Sir Peter Luff, said, on behalf of HLF and Big Lottery Fund: “It’s clear that our parks are important to us in countless ways – from physical and mental wellbeing to a connection with nature and our heritage. It’s also clear however that public parks must work in new ways to respond to the funding challenges they face and this investment, thanks to National Lottery players, will help them to do this.

In its 2014 report on the state of the UK Public Parks, HLF warned that local authority budget cuts posed a serious threat to park maintenance and that new and innovative ways of funding were needed. A follow-up report is due to be published in September 2016.

To apply for future Parks for People grants, visit the HLF website 


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