£6 million Lottery funding accouncement aims to put parks at centre of communities across UK

By Culture24 Staff Published: 05 July 2010

A photo of a cycle path flanked by trees

The Level in Brighton (above) has moved a step closer to a £1.8 million Lottery win. Image: Isaac Howlett

A set of 18th century mining pits in North Tyneside and a former priory in Dudley have won lucrative Lottery awards in a £6 million round of funding aiming to give parks a "major role" in local communities.

Wallsend Parks, comprising the town's Prince Road Arboretum, Richardson Dees Park and Hall Grounds, were originally part of a mining estate, including a mine shaft used to try and rescue miners trapped in the 1835 Wallsend Colliery disaster.

Planners will use a £2.45 million grant to restore a Vinery Wall and Fenery in the grounds and introduce a programme of training sessions teaching volunteers leadership, horticulture and maintenance expertise.

A photo of the ruins of a priory on flat grassland

Priory Park in Dudley

Priory Park, on the outskirts of Dudley town centre, used to be part of the West Midlands town's Dudley Castle estate, housing the Cluniac Priory of St James in the 12th century.

A £1.79 million grant will pay for "major redevelopment" works including repairs to the priory structures, lily pond and rose garden improvements, refurbishments to the 19th century parklands and a transformation of the Park Pavilion into a centre for community activities and education schemes.

The other main beneficiaries are Middleton Park in Leeds, a 254-hectare wildlife hub of ancient woodland and mining history which has won £1.47 million, and Burnham-on-Sea's Marine Cove Gardens, which have been allocated £344,000.

A photo of shaped flower plots on grassland inside a park

Burnham-on-Sea's Marine Cove Gardens

"It's important everyone in our towns and cities has somewhere free, green and open to enjoy in their leisure time," said Carole Souter of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.

"This joint investment from HLF and BIG is helping to do exactly that by ensuring parks continue to be looked after and have a major role to play at the very heart of their local communities."

A photo of a circular fountain in a lush green park

Worth Park in Crawley has won £237,000 in development funding

Provisional support has been given to 11 further sites, encouraging organisers with initial funding to develop their proposals.

Initial funding award winners:

  • Wandle Park, Croydon – first-round pass of £1,521,700, including £94,600 development funding
  • Harlow Town Park, Essex – £1,676,300, (£104,000 development funding)
  • Worth Park, Crawley – £2,189,000, (£237,000 development funding)
  • The Phillips Memorial Park, Godalming, Surrey – £314,000 (£25,600 development funding)
  • The Level, Brighton – £1,841,300 (£106,400 development funding)
  • Alexandra Park, Manchester – £2,038,500 (£138,500 development funding)
  • Northumberland Park, Northumberland – £2,223,700 (£109,000 development funding)
  • Markeaton Park, Derby – £2,264,000 (£142,500 development funding)
  • Eureka Park, South Derbyshire – £370,300 (£7,000 development funding)
  • Dock Park, Scotland – £987,800 (£34,250 development funding)