Artist impressions released of Hitchin recreation ground

Bancroft Rec gardens shows new entrance

Bancroft Rec gardens shows new entrance - Credit: Archant

Artist impressions of a recreation ground have been released by a district council.

Artist impression of Bancroft Rec playground

Artist impression of Bancroft Rec playground - Credit: Archant

North Herts District Council (NHDC) has released sketches of how Bancroft Recreation Ground in Hitchin could look after it undergoes a £2.65 million refurbishment.

Artist impression of Bancroft Rec river corridoor

Artist impression of Bancroft Rec river corridoor - Credit: Archant

BDP, the project’s architects, has submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for funding on behalf of NHDC.

It is hoped that up to 80% of the project cost could be funded with Lottery money, with the council funding the remaining amount.

NHDC expects to hear if it has been successful in its Lottery bid in June.


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A key element to the plans is to preserve the site’s heritage, including developing Bancroft Pavilion, the bandstand, the front gates and pillars, and the River Hiz.

There is also an emphasis on enhancing elements of the natural landscape by planting orchard and willow beds.

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The park will also include a heritage water play feature, improved play equipment for children and a new ball games area.

However, despite consultations with user groups, Hitchin Lawn Tennis Club and Hitchin Bowles Club have both raised concerns about the plans.

The recreation ground has four tennis courts available free of charge, but NHDC wants to remove these and grass over the area.

Plans to restore the River Hiz and open up the play area in the gardens could mean that the tennis club’s three private courts would have to be moved towards the upper bowls green, with the current site demolished.

Alan Cook, treasurer of the bowls club, has also said that unless more parking is provided the plans could be “jeopardising the future of our club”.

If the bid to the HLF is approved, the next stage of the refurbishment will be to continue talks with the tennis club to find a solution that provides public access and to continue talks with the bowls club regarding alternative parking.

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