AN Oswaldtwistle park could be set for a million pound makeover after funding was secured to develop plans.

Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund has awarded community groups working on a project at Rhyddings Park £100,000.

The money will be used to develop long term plans to improve and protect the park, it was announced.

Peter Jordan, director of local charity Newground, which is helping with the project, said £102,400 had been received.

He said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Big Lottery Fund, have given us this support.

“If the project is sucessful in the next stage, the park will become a real focal point for a wide range of activities that will provide recreational and training opportunities and be a real asset to the town.”

The business plan and heritage opportunities of the park, which was originally the grounds of Rhyddings Hall and still boasts some of its original features, will be developed using the money.

Newground, the Friends of Rhyddings Park, Hyndburn Council, and Lancashire County Council will then bid for the full £1.4 million, which would allow several improvements to be made.

Changes proposed at the park include refurbishing the coach house as a community venue, the construction of Victorian-style greenhouses, improvements to facilities including footpaths, and the development of guided walks and family activities.

Chairman of the Friends of Rhyddings Park, Neil Mooney, said: “The Friends have experience of delivering activities in the park.”

Cabinet member for parks at Hyndburn Council, Ciaran Wells, said: “This is fantastic news for the park, and all of Oswaldtwistle.”