Video: Howard Park and Gardens in Letchworth GC to be transformed thanks to �1.84m award
HOWARD Park and Gardens in Letchworth GC are to be transformed thanks to an award of �1.84million made by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG). The award, announced today, is part of an �18million funding package that has been given
HOWARD Park and Gardens in Letchworth GC are to be transformed thanks to an award of �1.84million made by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG).
The award, announced today, is part of an �18million funding package that has been given to six of the UK's much-loved public parks by the HLF and BIG.
The investment in Howard Park and Gardens will help to conserve the nationally important historic landscape, with works including the refurbishment of the popular paddling pool, creating improved play areas and new routes through and around the park.
Pix Brook, a stream running alongside the park, will have a new bridge built and a statue of Sappho will also be reinstated.
At the same time, new facilities will be introduced for visitors, including a kiosk for refreshments and public conveniences. A full time officer based in the park will support volunteers and the Friends Group in providing community activities.
Cllr Ian Knighton, portfolio holder for leisure at North Hertfordshire District Council, said: "This is fantastic news for Letchworth Garden City and we are delighted that the Heritage Lottery and the Big Lottery Funds have recognised the value of this historic park and its tremendous community value.
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"As one of the first examples of urban landscaping, Howard Park and Gardens have undergone many changes over the years and now we have the chance to bring them into the 21st century, while still respecting their heritage.
"The success is a tribute to the efforts of local residents who place a high value on the park and gardens and whose ideas helped to shape the development of the scheme."
Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF East of England, said: "This is wonderful news for visitors to, and everyone involved in Howard Park and Gardens. This shared green space was a central part of the thinking behind the Garden City and for nearly a century has been at the heart of community life.
"This award will mean the park is restored and given a fresh lease of life so that the people of Letchworth can enjoy the park in years to come."
Sara Betsworth, the BLF's head of region for the East of England, added: "We are delighted to fund the regeneration and conservation of this much-loved green space.
"The project will provide more events and facilities for residents and visitors alike, enabling them to get involved with their local community, as well as protecting it for the enjoyment of future generations."
The design and location of Howard Park are of particular historic importance as they capture and illustrate the desire of the Garden City planners to include natural landscapes in the heart of new urban developments.
The park is named after the social reformer Ebenezer Howard, who was a major force behind the park's construction. It was opened in 1911 as part of the world's first garden city, fulfilling the ethos of a planned, self-contained, community surrounded by green belts, containing balanced areas of residences, industry and agriculture.