Tense time for park lovers as they await lottery bid announcement

Published on: 29 Dec 2015

PEOPLE living in Staple Hill and surrounding areas have just two weeks before they learn the fate of a bid for more than £1.5 million of lottery cash to restore Page Park to its former majestic glory.
It is proving a nail biting time for members of the Friends of Page Park who had originally hoped to find out the result of the bid back in September.
If successful, the money would be used to restore the historic park whilst adding modern touches such as a cafe and community room.
The Friends group, which has been working closely with South Gloucestershire Council on the bid,  had  previously won £117,000 to evolve plans and take them through to the next - and final - stage.
The application was resubmitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund on June 25 and a final announcement will be made on January 14.
Plans for the cafe, community room and toilets have already been approved by the council so should the application to the Lottery Heritage Fund be successful, it will be full steam ahead with the ambitious scheme.
Although the Friends are currently on tenter hooks, they have already received one lot of good news after finding out the park’s historic clock tower building restoration project has received a £50,000 boost.
The cash has come courtesy of a grant from SITA Trust, made through the Landfill Communities Fund.
It will enable major structural repairs to the clock tower, along with painting and decoration, and improvements to the park’s plants and paving around the building.
The restoration of the clock tower is the centrepiece of the wider project to regenerate Page Park and increase community use.
Communities chair, councillor Heather Goddard said: “We’re delighted that SITA Trust has given us this support to restore the Page Park clock tower building.
“Page Park is the most important green space in Staple Hill and has been much loved by generations of local people since it was given to the public in 1910. The clock tower was one of the first buildings erected in the park, and it is great to know that we can now proceed with our plans to restore the clock tower so that future generations can continue to enjoy it.”
It has been a long standing aspiration of the Friends of Page Park group to restore the clock tower building, which is the most iconic building in Page Park and one of the most recognisable in Staple Hill itself.
Friends of Page Park representative William Lee said: “We are really pleased that this grant has been secured to enable the restoration of the clock tower. This is the building that first springs to mind for most people when they think about Page Park and so its restoration is a really vital part of the exciting project to restore and enhance the park.”
Marianne Ivin, of SITA Trust, said: “This is the second project that the Trust has funded in Page Park, with the bandstand receiving £30,000 previously. It is a fantastic park with some very beautiful structures that are really worth preserving.
“The Friends of Page Park are a very proactive and determined group and we are delighted to be able to help both them and South Gloucestershire Council with further restoration work.”
SITA Trust distributes funds contributed by the recycling and resource management company SITA UK.
The restoration work is expected to begin in Spring 2016.

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