Borough of Poole has sailed through the first round of bidding to receive nearly £3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out a range of improvements at Poole Park.
The success of the Poole Park Life bid recognises the fantastic support from the Friends of Poole Park with their ‘Back the Bid’ fundraising campaign, as well as a range of events including a tea party and wine tasting evening and lots of other help from local people along the way.
As part of the first round of funding the council has been awarded £260,000 to carry out a range of work over the next two years. The main focus will be on undertaking a detailed research and monitoring project on the boating lake to help establish future management arrangements.
A series of public events and workshops will take place next year so that the local community can continue to get involved in the project. This will cover all aspects of the park, including working with stakeholders such as the Friends, but also partners such as Chestnut Nursery and The Ark.
The five themes that were drawn up in round one – Heritage and Landscape / Lakes and water / Traffic / Play / Geese and Wildfowl – will be further developed so that the schemes can be designed. The local community will then have an opportunity to have their say on these proposals.
The development phase will complete in late 2016 and the second phase of the bid submitted shortly after. If successful, Borough of Poole will be awarded the full £2,970,200 for delivery between 2017 and 2020.
Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for a Prosperous and Sustainable Poole, Borough of Poole, said: “We are delighted with this announcement and it’s a real testament to the hard work and dedication of the local residents, businesses and the Friends of Poole Park for getting us to this stage. This is a huge step closer to securing significant investment in one of Poole’s most popular and historic open spaces.
“Poole Park is a wonderful facility which everyone can enjoy and we are really excited about the plans for its future.”
Mike Heckford, Vice-Chaiman and Treasurer of Friends of Poole Park, said: “This is wonderful news. Now, the hard work begins to ensure plans are drawn up to improve Poole Park and to ensure it is an even more pleasant place for everyone to visit in the future. The money, when received, must be wisely spent. Congratulations and special thanks to Martin Whitchurch and Richard Nicholson who have spearheaded the Bid; also thanks to local councillors to Poole Park for their support.”
Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said on behalf of HLF and the Big Lottery Fund: “Parks play such an important role in our everyday lives; they boost our health, connect us to nature and are a place to spend time and have fun together. Today’s investment will ensure the much loved Poole Park will be in better shape and can be enjoyed by local people long into the future. And I’m particularly delighted that we’ve been able to support this excellent project in Poole, which is an area where we’re especially keen to see more applications come forward.”
Representatives from Borough of Poole, Friends of Poole Park, Continental Landscapes Ltd and the Ark celebrating the news from the Heritage Lottery Fund.