Warrenpoint Municipal Park secures £850,000 National Lottery grant

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info@newrytimes.com
Friday, July 8th, 2016
Community, News
An Edwardian park in County Down is to be restored to its former glory with the help of a £850,000 grant, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced. img152The funding will be used to regenerate Warrenpoint Municipal Park, placing it back at the heart of the local community. The revitalised park will provide a space for people to relax and enjoy, as well as providing opportunities to develop new skills and learn more about its heritage. The restoration project will safeguard the park’s many remaining historic features, which are in danger of being lost. The listed bandstand, which is one of the finest remaining examples in Northern Ireland, will be carefully restored and used for a range of events. The story of the park and its generations of users will be told in a new interpretative centre which will be housed in the restored 1930s pavilion building. The original planting will be reinstated, pathways will be resurfaced and new lighting, drainage and interpretative signage introduced. img151The more recent additions to the park such as the children’s play area and tennis courts will be retained and upgraded, which alongside new facilities including an outdoor gym, will create an exciting space for a wide range of users. In 2014 HLF awarded development funding of £82,000 to help progress the restoration plans. Since then Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) and Warrenpoint Municipal Park Steering Group have worked tirelessly to create a shared vision for the park that will deliver a range of benefits for years to come. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council will also provide significant match funding to ensure the success of the project. Announcing the award, Head of HLF Northern Ireland, Paul Mullan, said, “Our public parks provide a shared space for enjoyment, recreation and relaxation and are hugely important to local communities.
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Mid July 2016“Key to the success of this project has been the strong relationships that have been built between the council and local community as the plans have been developed, and we are delighted to use National Lottery players’ money to return the park to its former glory and increase enjoyment of this wonderful space.” Circa 1918Council Chairperson Gillian Fitzpatrick (NMDDC) welcomed the award, saying, “I am delighted that the Warrenpoint Municipal Park Heritage Lottery Regeneration Project has received this funding, the park is an important asset to the District, it is utilised by both the local community and visitors from further afield. This funding will help restore it to its former Edwardian glory.” The park was designed by Thomas Smith of Daisy Hill Nursery in Newry and officially opened in 1906. Warrenpoint was a premiere holiday destination during the late 19th century and the park was established as an attraction for both visitors and local people to enjoy . An exciting events and activities programme will explore and celebrate the park’s natural, cultural and built heritage through guided walks, talks and volunteer opportunities.

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