Major autumn lottery boost for Town Park

The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund have announced that Telford and Wrekin Council has been awarded funding of just over £2.1million to refurbish and improve the Town Park.

Major autumn lottery boost for Town Park

The scheme for the popular 150-hectare Telford Town Park - created in the 1970’s at the centre of the ‘new town’ - will focus on making the park welcoming for visitors and improving signage, in addition to involving local people in the park as a place for relaxation, inspiration, adventure and learning whilst conserving fascinating features relating to its industrial past.

The award has been made as part of a £10.6million funding package to six of the UK ’s much-loved parks by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.

Telford Town Park has provided local residents with a much-loved green space for many years and is used for a wide range of leisure activities including children’s play, jogging, cycling, fishing and general relaxation. The park, containing signs of Telford and Wrekin’s rich industrial heritage such as old pit mounds, chimneys and railway tracks connects Telford ’s thriving town centre to the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site.

Plans for the park include conserving the chimneys and pit mounds and uncovering more of the park’s history relating to iron and coke smelting and brick-making. Education trails will be introduced with opportunities for volunteers to take part in wildlife and horticultural workshops, with a particular emphasis for young people.

Anne Jenkins, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the West Midlands region, said on behalf of HLF and BIG: “Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year for our parks and the stunning colours make it the perfect time to get out and enjoy our wonderful open spaces.

"This joint investment from HLF and BIG, however, will ensure our much-loved parks such as Telford Town Park with its special industrial heritage are looked after and have a major role to play at the very heart of their local communities.

John Taylor, Big Lottery Fund’s Head of the West Midlands region, added: “Today’s Lottery funding is tremendous news for everyone who has worked to transform Telford Town Park into a better community space that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

"There will be some fantastic improvements in the park and we’re pleased to be able to play a part in preserving its future.”

The grant will enable the installation of newly designed gateways at each entrance and within the park itself incorporating information boards, maps and direction signs to help visitors improve access to the whole area.

Two educational trails will be created and restoration work will improve the ecology of the ponds and waterways within the park.

Councillor Adrian Lawrence, Cabinet for the Environment with Telford and Wrekin Council said: “It is fantastic that Telford Town Park has won this lottery funding from HLF and BIG. It means we can really move forward with our plans to improve Telford Town Park for local residents and visitors.

“We are grateful for the effort put in by local voluntary groups and residents who’ve helped make this possible. The Town Park is a core element of our vision to create a vibrant town centre and we are committed to making sure it connects our thriving town centre with the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site.”

The project, which will complement the £250million Telford Town centre redevelopment and Dawley Regeneration Scheme both planned to revive the area, is expected to take five years to complete.