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First round of funding secured for Bath's Sydney Gardens' £3.2million revamp

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Written by: Tim MacFarlan | Posted 12 January 2017 6:00

First round of funding secured for Bath's Sydney Gardens' £3.2million revamp

An historic Bath park has been awarded the first stage of funding for its multi-million pound revamp.

A £332,000 grant has been secured following a bid by the Bath and North East Somerset Council's parks team, the Friends of Sydney Gardens residents' groups and the Holburne Museum.

It marks the beginning of B&NES Council's programme to secure £3.6million worth of Heritage Lottery Funding to enhance what is thought to be one of the few remaining 18th century pleasure gardens in the UK.

The authority is seeking to improve children's play area facilities, include a new cafe, restore features but remove the three tennis courts at the bottom of the park.

The council's cabinet member for community services, Councillor Martin Veal (Cons, Bathavon North) said the contribution had given the council a "huge boost".

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He said: "We are very fortunate to have many parks and green spaces in Bath and North East Somerset.

"Sydney Gardens is one of our most beautiful and tranquil open spaces and this money will help to ensure it can be enjoyed by many for years to come."

The initial £332,000 will be used to restore historic buildings, invest in landscaping works and deliver activities in a bid to create a "unique, fun and restorative" environment.

The overall restoration programme includes renovation of the play area, new gardens, public events such as art sessions, community archaeology days and outdoor tai chi.

Chairman of the Friends of Sydney Gardens, Jonny East, said: "This is a great example of how the council's Parks Team, working in partnership with the local community, can attract a substantial amount of external investment to help restore and improve this historically important, and much-loved, park."

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HLF's Chief Executive Ros Kerslake said, on behalf of HLF and Big Lottery Fund, that public parks play a vital role in health and well-being.

"With this investment from National Lottery players, there's real opportunity for a rejuvenated Sydney Gardens to deliver huge benefits to the whole community," he said.

Starting in the spring, a design team will be working with residents to develop the long-term plans in more detail, with a full application to be submitted in June 2018.

To date, more than £850million of money raised by National Lottery players has been invested in parks since 1996.

 

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