BLUEPRINTS are being formulated to restore Burnley’s ‘people’s park’ to its former glory – with the help of a lottery grant.

Work is set to begin on a Heritage Lottery Fund bid to overhaul the grade II listed Thompson Park, it has been confirmed.

And park supporters are hopeful that the project will provide a new lease of life for the 82-year-old East Lancashire landmark.

Michelle Wolfenden, chairman of the Friends of Thompson Park, said: “We think this is a brilliant idea and hope that it will provide benefits for the whole area.

“Thompson Park was always the people’s park – it was built by the people of Burnley who were unemployed or on low incomes and they received a fair day’s pay for their efforts.”

Last December the park suffered a major blow when a series of stone columns, in the Italian Garden, were damaged in high winds and all 32 had to be removed.

Restoration work would centre around popular features such as the Italian Garden, Beech Garden, paddling pool and boating lake.

First opened in 1930, the park was created following a £50,000 bequest by James Witham Thompson, which saw part of the Bank Hall estate converted into recreational grounds.

Post-war the venue suffered a decline, with the loss of the greenhouses to Queens Park and the conversion of the cafe into a rangers centre into the 1970s.

But with the help of the friends group and others, the park has held ‘Green Flag’ status for more than a decade, a cafe has been opened in the boathouse and a putting green near the Italian Garden.

Burnley and Pendle Miniature Railway Society also operates a seasonal service around part of the grounds.