£4million bid considered to renovate Weston park

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 June 2018

There have been a number of antisocial behaviour incidents reported to police in Grove Park.

There have been a number of antisocial behaviour incidents reported to police in Grove Park.

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A £4million bid to improve a Weston-super-Mare park and the surrounding buildings could be submitted as part of regeneration efforts.

Jill's Garden, dedicated to Jill Dando, is based in Grove Park. Picture: Mike JerrettJill's Garden, dedicated to Jill Dando, is based in Grove Park. Picture: Mike Jerrett

North Somerset Council is considering applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to improve Grove Park, link it better to High Street and bring neighbouring redundant buildings back into use.

The authority’s community and corporate organisation policy and scrutiny panel will consider the application at its meeting on Tuesday.

The application would be made in two parts, with the first being an expression of interest to the HLF in August, presenting the proposals, project costs and the expected outcomes.

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Friends of Grove Park have completed a 'bug city' structure, and are close to completing the mayor's parlour bug hotel.Friends of Grove Park have completed a 'bug city' structure, and are close to completing the mayor's parlour bug hotel.

John Flannigan, the council’s community and environment service manager, wrote in his report: “The proposed HLF project will focus on enhancing the park with emphasis on the Victorian public park features and the memorial garden which still dominates the park and is particularly poignant as we approach the centenary of the end of World War One.

“Many of these features are showing signs of decline and therefore require renovation to reflect the park’s status.

“In addition to restoring the park’s key heritage features and infrastructure we wish to bring back into use redundant buildings, link the park better to the high street, encourage more events, volunteer activity and increased opportunities for formal and informal learning particularly around traditional artisan skills such as horticulture and stonemasonry.” He said the project would contribute ‘positively’ to Weston’s economic regeneration.

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Grove Park. Picture: Peter YoungGrove Park. Picture: Peter Young

If the HLF approves the first stage, the council will need to commit around £500,000 towards the £4million scheme.

The stage two application would not be submitted until next summer, with work expected to start in 2020 if it is successful.

Mr Flannigan said: “HLF grants are becoming increasingly competitive as more organisations bid for reducing funds.

“The current work is therefore being carried out to investigate options and costs and to engage with stakeholders and the HLF.”

The revamped war memorial in Grove Park.The revamped war memorial in Grove Park.

Weston Civic Society and the Friends of Grove Park have been consulted on the application, and Weston Town Council has already restored the war memorial.

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