Park to go Victorian with lottery cash

IPSWICH is on course to get a multi-million pound Victorian theme park – thanks to the National Lottery!Christchurch Park could be restored to its Victorian splendour thanks to a multi-million pound grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

IPSWICH is on course to get a multi-million pound Victorian theme park – thanks to the National Lottery!

Christchurch Park could be restored to its Victorian splendour thanks to a multi-million pound grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Wilderness and Round Ponds could be dredged, shelters and toilets restored, a new refreshment kiosk built, and thousands of new plants put in.

The total cost of restoring Ipswich's best-loved park is estimated at £4.2 million.


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Earlier this year Ipswich Borough Council, applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for 75 per cent funding of the project and has now been told to proceed to stage two with a £130,500 grant.

Andrew Sheppard, the council's parks manager, confirmed that a development grant offer had been received.

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"We are very pleased that our bid has progressed to stage two.

"The Lottery Fund now expects us to carry out more detailed surveys and development work.

"We also want to closely involve the friends of the park and the wider community in this before preparing a business plan."

The grant does not guarantee that the final £3.2 million will be awarded, but is a positive indication that it is likely to receive support.

Council officers have until next September to submit more detailed plans.

The council's spokesperson for leisure, John Mowles, said: " We are fortunate in Ipswich to have such splendid parks and it is gratifying that their benefit is being acknowledged by the Heritage Lottery Fund. "

Robyn Greenblatt, Heritage Lottery Fund's manager for the East of England said: "We look forward to working with Ipswich council and ensuring that as many people as possible have access this unique open space in the heart of Ipswich".

The Christchurch Park improvement plans include:

n Restoration of park shelters and drinking fountain.

n Repairing footpath surfaces and edgings.

n Cleaning up the Wilderness Pond and Round Pond.

n A £58,000 tree-planting programme.

n New shrubberies.

n Improvements to the Upper and Lower Arboreta.

n Better signs.

n Improving park entrances.

n Installing a refreshment kiosk.

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