Kingswood Park secures record investment after successful award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Pictured at Kingswood Park Ward Councillor Sean Rhodes, Partner Lead Member for Communities and Local Place, Councillor Jayne Stansfield, Cabinet Member for Communities and Local Place, Councillor Leigh Ingham, and Kingswood Park Friends member, Raf Ackbar.

South Gloucestershire Council and the Friends of Kingswood Park are celebrating after securing a grant of over £2.6 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore Kingswood Park to its former glory.

The Council has been working in close partnership with the Friends of Kingswood Park community group to restore and enhance the park, with the latest announcement on 19 February being the biggest ever grant funded investment for a green space or park in South Gloucestershire.

The grant from The Heritage Fund forms a large part of the total project cost of £3,360,857 and means the Friends Group can realise their dream of bringing the park back to its former glory – which has been a goal since the volunteer group was formed in 2005.

Restoration of the park is part of the council’s wider £25 million Kingswood Masterplan, a regeneration vision for Kingswood town centre to make it a better place to live, work and visit.

Kingswood Park opened in 1934 and is the only significant area of green space in Kingswood town centre. The next step of the project will be to start implementing exciting plans to make the park and its heritage accessible to everyone, with work expected to begin this Spring.

Funding will be used to improve park amenities including new centrally located accessible toilets and Changing Places facility, an improved and expanded play area with better equipment, an improved performance space, and a mobile refreshment facility, all combining as a hub for the park and local community.

There will also be improvements to signage around the park, restoration of walls, gates and railings and other heritage features, resurfacing of paths, additional new wildlife-friendly planting including native trees, hedges and fruit tree planting. Access will be improved by building a new ‘missing link’ footpath to create a full circuit of the park, along with the installation of new access ramps.

A three-year programme of activities will also allow people from across the Kingswood community to learn about and celebrate the park’s heritage.

Running alongside the improvement work will be a three-year programme of community events and activities with a focus on health and wellbeing, skills, and training.

Councillor Leigh Ingham, Cabinet Member for Communities and Local Place at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has granted this considerable support to rejuvenate and improve Kingswood Park. The park is the most prominent green space in Kingswood town centre and has been enjoyed by generations of local people since 1934. We’re hoping the activities we put on will get even more people enjoying the park on a regular basis.

“The funding is a game-changer in terms of how we’ll be able to transform and update the park for the benefit of residents and the wider local community. As ward member I understand how much of a positive impact this investment into the local community will have and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of the Friends of Kingswood Park. We would like to extend our sincere thanks for their continued work and commitment.”

Stuart McLeod, Director of England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We’re thrilled to support Kingswood Park and their vision to create an accessible green space for the community. We believe that everyone should be able to access, connect with and enjoy nature on their doorstep – whether they are in urban areas or the countryside. It is thanks to National Lottery players that we can support projects like this which bring people together and transform the communities we live in, making them better places to be.”

The main aims of the Kingswood Park restoration project are to:

  • Encourage more and wider range of people, voluntary groups, and schools to use and celebrate the park heritage with more events and activities.
  • Provide a new mobile park refreshment facility.
  • Improve facilities for all including new play equipment, better access and toilets.
  • Look at opportunities to provide a new park refreshment facility.
  • Restore paths, walls, masonry and other features.
  • Share the heritage of the park and research its history.
  • Contribute to the regeneration of Kingswood Town Centre.
  • Improve the park landscape and biodiversity.
  • Carbon neutral management of the park.

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