A bid by Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has led to the award of £ 167,000, as the first stage of a proposal for £ 3.2 million, from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund England’s Parks for People programme. The funds will be used toward the development stage of the Council’s Victoria Park and Watercess Fields Masterplan.
Chris Dixon, Arts and Cultural Industry Manager at ABC, commented to South Ashford Community Forum, when the application was submitted, “The priority for the programme is to conserve the existing heritage of the designated park, intending to make a significant difference to heritage, people and communities in the area. It is a two stage application process. The first stage is to develop a more detailed second round proposal. We are at the very earliest point, with no confirmed detailed plans, but have an ambition to:
- refurbish the Hubert fountain and piazza;
- reintroduce or recognise lost cultural and natural heritage elements;
- provide a volunteers compound and other community facilities; and
- put in place a range of community events and activities including a new ‘Friends Group’ etc.
The award follows the signing of a number of Section 106 agreements that allocate nearly £ 470,000, due to be paid on occupation of local developments.