ONE of Burnley’s best-loved parks is to reopen following a £1.2million restoration project.

The official ceremony at Thompson Park will take place at the main entrance gates in Ormerod Road at 1.30pm on Sunday and form part of a Fun in the Park event from noon to 4pm.

Work began on refurbishing the park in December 2017 and the project was largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund following a successful application by Burnley Council, which also contributed £250,000 towards the cost.

Contractor Rosslee Construction was employed to restore the pavilion and convert the former boathouse into a café, which will be run by Burnley Leisure.

The Italian gardens and park bridges have been restored by Groundwork Direct and the original railings and gates on Ormerod Road have been restored by local firm Remec Engineering.

The council’s greenspaces team built a new play area, restored the Italian gardens and replanted the rose garden, all supported by a willing and hard-working band of volunteers, including Steve Pycroft, who single-handedly restored every one of the 70 benches in the park.

The park has remained open while the restoration work went ahead and there is still some outstanding work to complete, including some path resurfacing and repainting the paddling pool.

Cllr John Harbour, executive member for housing and leisure, said: “The council is immensely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the £960,000 of funding it has provided to restore and preserve the heritage of the park, which will ensure that it will be enjoyed by future generations.

“It has kept its 1930s character but its main features have all been refurbished and given a new life. I’d encourage people to come along and see what’s been going on. It’s a lovely park and we are very lucky to have it on our doorsteps.”

The borough’s deputy mayor, Cllr Anne Kelly, along with representatives of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Burnley Civic Trust, the Friends of Thompson Park and others will officially open the new gates in Ormerod Road at 1.30pm.

The Fun in the Park event will include funfair rides, face painting, arts and crafts and food stalls, and displays by the Manchester School of Samba.

No dogs or alcohol are allowed in the park.