Page Park work already under way
Published on: 28 Feb 2016
WORK on transforming Page Park is already under way following the announcement of a £1.6 million lottery bonanza.
The Friends of Page Park have been awarded the cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.
Along with further grants, nearly £2.2 million will be spent on the ambitious project which includes a cafe and community building.
Recent visitors to the park have spotted white lines which mark out a new path - evidence that work is now under way.
William Lee, secretary of the Friends of Page Park, said it was fantastic to see some sign of progress after so many years of working on the lottery bid.
“The delivery phase of the project to renovate Page Park has started and the first tangible signs of activity are visible in the park,” he said.
“The lines mark out where the new path down the west side of the park will go. This piece of work has to be completed by the end of March as a condition of the grant towards the cost and so it won’t be long before the very first improvement in the park will be there to be enjoyed. After so many years of applications and planning this will be a very welcome milestone.
“It is still very early days in the delivery of the project but very satisfying to be able to report tangible progress.”
The news of the award has been greeted with delight by local people and traders. They say the money will secure the park’s future for generations to come.
Mark Behard, of the Blue Sky Cafe in Fountain Square, said it was great that so many people had worked so hard to get the money for Page Park and he urged them and others to keep up their efforts until the project was completed.
“Our neighbourhood will see the benefits of this upgrade stretching into the future - for another hundred years!” he said.
Plans for the park include a cafe and community building, new toilets, French boules court, improved teen area and a new toddler play area.
Restoration work includes an overhaul of the landmark clock tower and chiming clock as well as reinstating railings around the park which were taken down in the war. The walls, gates and gate columns will also be returned to their former glory.
Improved access, paths, planting schemes and signage also form part of the scheme, along with an area for growing plants and composting.
The new play area is now in the planning stage and it is hoped it will be in place by the end of May.
Meanwhile fundraising for the project continues. The Friends still have to find their £20,000 contribution - a condition of the funding.
There is also a shortfall in the cost of the overall project so the group is continuing to look for additional capital.
Page Park was given to the public in 1910 as a gift from local benefactor Alderman Arthur William Page.