UPM Tilhill is involved in the restoration work to a park in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, that was created more than 100 years ago as a central part of the pioneering urban experiment to create the world’s first garden city.
Due to be completed in Autumn 2011, the work at Howard Park and Gardens involves hard and soft landscaping to preserve the historic importance of the site, as well as new elements that will broaden the use of the park.
Work includes refurbishing a paddling pool, creating improved play areas and building new routes through and around the park. A reproduction statue of Sappho is also being installed to replace the original stolen several years ago.
As well as the landscaping, the UPM Tilhill team is responsible for all construction, mechanical and electrical elements of the project. Funding for the £2.7 million scheme has come largely from the Parks for People programme funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. The project will conserve the historic importance of the park and gardens and aims to increase the range of people using the park.
Pix Brook, a stream running alongside the park, is having a new bridge built and new facilities will be introduced for visitors, including a kiosk for refreshments and new, modern toilets.
Cllr Ian Knighton, North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) Portfolio Holder for Leisure, said: “We are very pleased to have appointed UPM Tilhill and to be working closely with them on this exciting project. Howard Park and Gardens is of historical importance to Letchworth, and NHDC has a commitment to preserve, maintain and enhance this valuable space for the benefit of residents both now and in the future.”
Peter Middleton, Commercial Director for UPM Tilhill, said: “We are delighted to be helping with the re-development of Howard Park and Gardens and working with the local community and businesses to deliver a leading contemporary facility for the residents of Letchworth to enjoy.
“A member of our project team has specific responsibility for liaison with all local interest groups and we have plans to involve local schools throughout the project.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, East of England, said: “Parks are a crucial part of this country’s heritage and this money demonstrates our on-going commitment to looking after them, making sure they continue to be safe and enjoyable places to spend time. It’s not just the important restoration work that matters. These grants are far-reaching and provide great opportunities to protect our precious wildlife, for volunteers to learn new skills, and get local people involved with taking care of their local park.”
For full details of the plans, look on the NHDC website www.north-herts.gov.uk|
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