A game-changer! Supporters hail £2.6m lottery grant to revamp Kingswood Park

PLANS to transform Kingswood Park have been given a huge boost with a £2.6 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

South Gloucestershire Council and community group the Friends of Kingswood Park have been working together on a project to restore and enhance the park, which is expected to cost a total of almost £3.4m.

The council says the lotto grant – the biggest awarded to a green space or park in the district – means the volunteer group can realise its goal of “bringing the park back to its former glory”.

Restoration of the park is part of the council’s £25m Kingswood Masterplan to regenerate the  town centre to make it a better place to live, work and visit.

The park, which opened in 1934, is the only significant green space in Kingswood centre.

The council says the money will fund improvements including an expanded play area with better equipment, an improved performance space and mobile refreshment facility.

There will also be accessible toilets, including a ‘Changing Places’ facility for people with severe physical disabilities, with hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and extra space to accommodate carers.

Signs will be improved, and walls, gates and railings and other heritage features restored. Access will be improved by building a new ‘missing link’ footpath to create a full circuit of the park, along with the installation of new access ramps.

There are also plans to resurface paths and plant fruit trees and “wildlife-friendly” native trees and hedges.

A three-year programme of community events and activities will be funded to allow people to learn about the park’s heritage and improve their well-being.

The council’s cabinet member for communities and local place Leigh Ingham, who is also a Kingswood councillor, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has granted this considerable support to rejuvenate and improve Kingswood Park.

“The funding is a game-changer in terms of how we’ll be able to transform and update the park for the benefit of residents and the wider local community.

“As ward member I understand how much of a positive impact this investment into the local community will have, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of the Friends of Kingswood Park. We would like to extend our sincere thanks for their continued work and commitment.”

National Lottery Heritage Fund regional director Stuart McLeod said: “We’re thrilled to support Kingswood Park and their vision to create an accessible green space for the community.

For more information on the restoration project visit tinyurl.com/yc7dky5v