Bath’s historic park Sydney Gardens has been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund’s Parks for People programme.
Winter sunshine in Sydney Gardens
A partnership between Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Parks Team, the Friends of Sydney Gardens, local residents’ groups and the Holburne Museum has successfully bid for £332,000 for Sydney Gardens.
The money is the first part of a programme to secure a £3.6 million grant to improve the park – all that’s left of a Georgian Pleasure Garden or Vauxhall.
The money will be used to restore historic buildings, invest in landscaping works and deliver activities designed to create ‘a beautiful and tranquil pleasure garden that achieves a renaissance as a unique, fun and restorative environment for all ages’.
MInerva’s Temple – brought from the Empire Exhibition at the Crystal Palace and re-erected here in 1913-14.
The programme will include renovation of the play area and new gardens; and public events such as art sessions, community archaeology days and outdoor tai chi.
Starting in the spring, a design team will be working with the local community to develop these plans in more detail, with a full application submitted in June 2018.
If successful, this will mean an investment of £3.3 million – a once in a lifetime opportunity for what is thought to be Britain’s only remaining 18th century pleasure garden.
Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North) Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund have given a huge boost to the Council by awarding us this money, which will be used to improve what is the only remaining 18th Century pleasure garden in the country.
“We are very fortunate to have many parks and green spaces in Bath and North East Somerset. Sydney Gardens is one of our most beautiful and tranquil open spaces and this money will help to ensure it can be enjoyed by many for years to come.”
Chairman of the Friends of Sydney Gardens, Jonny East, said: “This is a great example of how the council’s Parks Team, working in partnership with the local community, can attract a substantial amount of external investment to help restore and improve this historically important, and much-loved, park.”
HLF’s Chief Executive Ros Kerslake said, on behalf of HLF and Big Lottery Fund: “Public parks play a vital role in our health and well-being. With this investment from National Lottery players there’s real opportunity for a rejuvenated Sydney Gardens to deliver huge benefits to the whole community.”
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To date, more than £850million of money raised by National Lottery players has been invested in parks since 1996.
About the Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year it invests over £650 million and awards around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.
The Parks for People programme uses money raised by National Lottery players to support the regeneration, conservation and increased enjoyment of public parks and cemeteries. In England the two Lottery Funds have been working in partnership from 2006 to deliver a multi-million pound investment in public parks. Find out more about how to apply at www.hlf.org.uk/parks
*Parks for People applications are assessed in two rounds. A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.