Building work on Page Park cafe and clock tower to start
Published on: 28 Oct 2016
WORK on returning historic Page Park to its former glory is due to begin this month.
Contractors are expected to move into the park on November 7 to start restoring the historic Clocktower and tennis pavilion.
They will also start construction work on the much-awaited community building, toilets and cafe.
Already the park is starting to show signs of investment following a £1.6 million lottery grant and additional funding from South Gloucestershire Council, which paid for the new children's play area.
A £50,000 donation towards the restoration fund has come from Sita Trust and retirement home builders McCarthy and Stone has pledged £3,000.
New paths and planting schemes are in place, although the final transformation won't be revealed until early next summer when the major building work is completed.
Steph Purser, vice chair of Friends of Page Park, said it was an exciting time for Staple Hill.
"We can't wait to see something going on! After all these years it will be lovely to see the work start. The builders will try to keep things tidy but it's going to be a bit of a mess over there for a while so we are asking people to be patient.
"It's been a long-time coming and so many people are so keen to see the cafe up and running but for me personally to see the Clocktower restored and the chiming clock going properly will be fantastic.
"There will also be more soft landscaping going in around the park as well as some around the new building once it's near completion. It can't wait to see it; it will be absolutely amazing."
The council is looking to put the running of the community building and cafe out to tender and it is hoped the successful candidate will work with the Friends to ensure the community is at the heart of any decision making.
Steph said: "We'd like the building to be a real community hub. We have a lot of elderly people in the area and it will be a place for them to meet up. It's essential the right person takes on the building and provides what our community and park users want."
Work was originally scheduled to start in September so the project has been delayed a short while which means it is likely to be completed in May/June next year instead of at Easter-time.
The opening ceremony could coincide with next year's The Big Lunch which will take place on Sunday June 4.
The Friends are still fundraising for the project and welcome any further donations.
Steph said: "Lots of things come in over price so the Friends are trying to boost the restoration fund and pay to repair extra paths. The lottery grant sounds an awful lot of money but when you are restoring historic things, the money just goes."
If anyone wants to help they can go to BTGiving to make a donation or pop into Brunt and Fussell in Broad Street. They can also go to www.friendsofpagepark.co.uk where they can find the treasurer's address or get in touch via the Friends' Facebook page.