Cash windfall for parks
Two popular parks in Ashford are to receive cash for a makeover from the National Lottery.
Victoria Park and Watercress Fields have been earmarked for a potential £3.2 million funding, with initial support to develop the project.
The money comes from a £40 million pot shared between 13 parks and cemeteries across England and Wales.
Victoria Park has been awarded a £167,000 development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund.
The park in Jemmett Road, and the Watercress Fields – a large open area of grassland alongside the River Great Stour, at the west of Victoria Park – will use the money that it receives in support of a project that aims to improve people’s knowledge of the site and make it more attractive to residents.
Ashford Borough Council applied to the Parks for People programme to help support delivery of the masterplan which includes four themed zones for enhancements; adventure, heritage, sport and recreation and riverside.
The development grant from HLF and Big Lottery Fund will help the council apply for the next round of funding where the project to revamp Victoria Park could receive capital funding of £3.2 million.
The funding will support repairs to the Grade II* listed Hubert Fountain and improvements to the surrounding piazza area.
Other works will include replacing the existing play space with sensory gardens, extending the community orchard, restoring the secret garden area and creating a paved path into the park.
There are also plans to expand activity and recreation within the park with bike ramps and additional play facilities, benefitting events such as Create Music Festival.
ABC says it is working on the scheme in partnership with stakeholders including HLF, Kent County Council and the Environment Agency.
The HLF uses money raised by National Lottery players to help fund projects from restoring natural landscapes to rescuing neglected buildings.
Victoria Park and Watercress Fields