Historic park restoration underway

Work has now begun on a £2.5 million restoration of an award-winning park in Stafford.

The £2.5 million project to restore Victoria Park has received funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, and will include restoring key historical features – such as the bandstand and Mottram Shelter – as well as an improved aviary and enhanced catering facility.

Work got underway on Monday 22 July with Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, the Cabinet Member for Leisure at Stafford Borough Council on hand to see the start of the development. Work is expected to be completed next summer.

The children’s playground, splash pad and skate park are not affected by the restoration and remain open and the bowling green will remain in use.

The Borough Council was successful in securing over £1.7 million of National Lottery funding as part of the ‘Parks for People’ programme to carry out the extensive work. The tendering process for the running of the catering operation in the park started last week.

The park is more than 100 years old and has been awarded the ‘Green Flag’ as one of the best parks and open spaces in the country since 2007. In 2011 the council transformed the play area of the park, which proved an enormous success and it was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by online travel review site, Trip Advisor, for its great customer feedback.

Jack Snowden, Leo Woodhead and Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge at the historic bandstand

Councillor Trowbridge, said the council had an excellent track record in enhancing facilities across the borough.

“This is an extremely popular park. It is a jewel in the crown of the town and this work will restore historic features so they are not lost for future generations.

“We will also be improving existing facilities – using the feedback we received during consultations with residents, park users and those who play a key role within the park.”

She added: “It is good to see work underway as we want to make sure we have a beautiful place for visitors and local people to enjoy for many years to come.”

Leo Woodhead, Business Development Director at Woodhead Group:

“We’re delighted to be starting on site on this exciting project and beginning what we hope will be a successful collaboration with Stafford Borough Council. These works are our first in the West Midlands, and will improve existing facilities and create brand new spaces that will deliver social value and a lasting impact for users. As work on the site progresses, we will work closely with the council to minimise disruption and ensure the park remains accessible for all.”

More information on the park at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/victoriapark.

To take the virtual tour go to www.staffordbc.gov.uk/hlf.