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Burnley park's hope for £1m Lottery revamp
9:00pm Thursday 19th July 2012 in Opinion
THOMPSON Park could be underging a radical revamp if a £1million-plus Lottery bid is successful.
Burnley Council chiefs are expected to approve the application to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Parks for People’ programme at an executive meet-ing next Tuesday.
It is hoped the park could be renovated in the same manner as Towneley Park, which benefitted to the tune of £2 million from the same fund in 2005.
The Green Flag award-winning park opened in 1930 after James Witham Thompson, who died in 1920, left £50,000 in his will for the council to build a park to “provide pleasant walks and sitting areas and to promote more active leisure pursuits for adults and children.”
Coun John Harbour, the council’s executive member for leisure and culture, said a successful bid would provide ‘much-needed funds’.
He said: “We’ve seen how a successful Heritage Lottery money bid helped transform Towneley Park.
“Thompson Park is very popular, especially with young families, and it has strong support from the community through its active Friends Group. It’s more than 80 years old now and beginning to show its age.
“The park needs considerable investment to restore and maintain its features such as the Italian Garden and this Lottery money would allow us to carry out this work.”
Last autumn the 32 stone columns in the Italian Garden were dismantled after four of the columns blew down in strong winds.
Earlier this summer the opening of the park’s paddling pool was delayed whilst temporary repairs were carried out, much to the dismay of local families eager to use the pool during the brief.
For grants up to £1 million the council would need to find five per cent funding from its own or other sources and for grants above £1 million a ten per cent contribution is required.