Exciting plans to restore and enhance Kingswood Park have moved a step closer after South Gloucestershire Council submitted a bid for £3.36 million in funding to the National Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project aims to restore Kingswood Park so that it forms the green heart of Kingswood and the council has worked with the volunteer group Friends of Kingswood Park and the wider community to understand what matters to local people and reflect this in the proposals.
The aim is to enhance the park’s amazing features and improve its facilities so visitors can relax and meet other people in a safe, well managed and welcoming setting and preserve its heritage as a focal point for the community.
If the Lottery bid is successful, money will be used to install accessible toilets and improve pathways; to redesign the children’s play area with better equipment; and to introduce a mobile refreshment facility.
Running alongside the improvement works will be a three-year programme of community events and activities with a focus on health and wellbeing.
There will also be more wildlife-friendly tree planting; the creation of a wildflower meadow to boost biodiversity; as well as an upgrade of historic features such as the railings and walls. The central amphitheatre will also be fully restored as a performance space.
Once the improvement works are carried out, a three-year programme of community events with a focus on health and wellbeing is planned.
The park restoration is part of the wider £25 million Kingswood Masterplan, a regeneration vision for Kingswood town centre, making Kingswood a better place to live, work and visit.
South Gloucestershire Council and The Friends of Kingswood Park successfully secured £120,000 in funding from The National Lottery Heritage Funding in October 2021 to develop these proposals.
South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Local Place and Ward Member for Kingswood, councillor Leigh Ingham, said: “Kingswood Park is already a wonderful green space at the heart of the community and these plans, drawn up with the Friends group, aim to make it somewhere even more special, where local people can enjoy for years to come.
“There’ll be something for all ages, with open spaces and improved play equipment, and I can’t wait to see how the restoration of the amphitheatre captures people’s imaginations as a performance space.
“The plans will also improve biodiversity by creating a wildflower meadow, a wetland area, new fruit trees and a new community growing area at the Orchard Road allotments.”
Key elements of the restoration and regeneration work include:
• To restore and improve the park features and to build new accessible toilets, a comprehensive update of the play facilities to include equipment for children with disabilities, restoration of gates, walls, railings, paths and the performance space, as well as new, wildlife-friendly tree and landscape planting.
• Bringing a wider range of people into with the park through a new £370,000, three-year programme of activities and events with a focus on health and wellbeing benefits, and skills and training.
• Enhancing the cemetery boundary, including new planting and improved access to the Holy Trinity Churchyard.
• Restoration of circular planting bed in formal garden area.
• Services for new mobile refreshment facility.
• Improvement to the basketball area designed for teenagers.
• An improved outdoor learning area.
• New drinking fountain.
Access to the park will be improved, implementing the recommendations of Kingswood Park Access Plan 2021, by building a new ‘missing link’ footpath to create full park path circuit. Some existing paths will be resurfaced and reprofiled, incorporating ramps; and a Changing Places toilet facility will be included as part of the new toilet building.
The decision on Lottery funding is expected towards the end of the year.