A LONG-awaited restoration bid for Burnley's Thompson Park, topping £1.1million, is now finally with National Lottery chiefs.

Proposals to upgrade the town's 'people's park', which is home to a boating lake, miniature railway and paddling pool, have been in the pipeline since at least late 2011.

But now it has been confirmed that a formal application has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the anticipated overall costs of the project, estimated at £1,162,000.

Former mayor Cllr Roger Frost has welcomed the announcement and praised the council's parks head, Simon Gough, for drawing the work together.

He said: "It is very different than the other parks in Burnley - Thompson has always been a 'people's park'. It was opened in 1930, unlike the likes of Queen's or Scott Park, which are Victorian, and Towneley, which is essentially 16th century.

"But some of the architecture, because of the times, was perhaps not built as robustly as it should have been and I am very excited about what might be able to do there."

Cllr Bea Foster, executive member for leisure and culture, has told borough councillors: "The council is applying for a grant of £867,000 from the HLF towards the £1,162,000 costs of restoring and interpreting the heritage of the park.

"If the stage one application is approved in June, the council will be given funding to prepare a more detailed stage two application, which would be submitted in 2016."

Lottery funding would be used to restore various features of the park which are said to be in 'poor' condition, not least the main pavilion, which is currently closed.

The Italian Gardens, which has suffered previously when the Doric stone columns there were blown down in high winds and later removed, is also due for restoration alongside the Rose Garden, which features more than 40 beds.

Further improvements to the paddling pool, play area, beech garden and ranger base are envisaged as part of the ambitious scheme.

Burnley's Towneley Park was a recipient of £2million in 2005, which triggered a host of improvements, under the auspices of the borough council and an active friends group.