Park lottery bid rejected

HOPES of giving an Ipswich park a spectacular £2million facelift have been dashed today.

HOPES of giving an Ipswich park a spectacular £2million facelift have been dashed today.

The Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund rejected a bid to restore 67-acre Holywells Park.

Ipswich Borough Council and the Friends of Holywells Park wanted the cash to transform the park's grade II listed orangery and stable block.

The buildings are part of a mansion which was once in the historic park.

Judy Terry, the council's arts, culture and leisure chief, said: “We are very disappointed. We weren't expecting it because we had fairly good vibes from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“We haven't had an official response telling us why yet.

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“Holywells Park is one of the major historic parks in Ipswich. It is a hidden park and very beautiful with a strong history and wonderful wildlife.

“Some of the plans we can take forward anyway and we will because we know an increase in investment will mean more people come to the park.

“We are going to develop an action plan to decide what we can do in the short term.

“We probably can do a lot of the work anyway it will just take longer and maybe not be quite as extravagant.”

The plans for Holywells would have seen the old stable block, which is currently being used as a maintenance depot, turned into a centre for educational and leisure use.

Other ideas included restoring the landscape to its original glory and creating a designated cycling and running path.

The hope was the changes would reflect the town's brewery and maritime history.

There have already been some recent improvements in the park including a new pond to replace a paddling pool and the opening of a play area.

While Holywells Park missed out on funding, parks in Newcastle, West Bromwich, Plymouth, Newark and Worcester were awarded Lottery grants totalling £14m.

Are you upset that Holywells Park has not been given funding? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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