People in Portsmouth can take a closer look at ideas and plans for the future of Victoria Park as Portsmouth City Council prepares to submit a bid for a £2 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The proposals, which can be seen at www.victoriaparkportsmouth.org.uk/the-masterplan, include a new community hub, a nature-inspired play area for children and the restoration of the Victorian fountain and monuments in the park. There are also plans for events and activities in the park, as well as new initiatives such as community gardening, volunteering opportunities and work placement schemes.
Over the past year, more than 2,500 park users, local residents, organisations and community groups have shared their ideas for the park through a city-wide survey, focus groups and interviews. People in the city have had the chance to talk to the council about what improvements they’d like to see and how they’d like to use the park in future. These ideas have been developed into the detailed proposals that are being submitted to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for consideration.
Councillor Ben Dowling, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: “Thanks to an initial grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’ve been able to work closely with the local community to take a close look at how people use the park now and how they’d like to use it in future. We’ve talked to people about what the park means to them and how we can improve it in a way that celebrates its heritage, restores its historic features and creates a welcoming green space for everyone in the city today.
“We’ve been able to develop these proposals based on the ideas that have emerged and will now submit them to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. If we’re successful, we look forward to working with residents and community groups to develop the plans further and bring these ideas to life!”
The National Lottery Heritage Fund is expected to make a decision on the funding in November. If the bid is successful, work will begin on realising the plans next year, with a new events and activities programme launching in early 2022. Restoration and building work would get underway later in the year, with the project due to be completed by early 2026.
To find out more about the Reviving Victoria Park project, the history and heritage of the park, and how to get involved in park life, visit: www.victoriaparkportsmouth.org.uk, sign up to the Victoria Park newsletter or follow the park on Facebook www.facebook.com/VictoriaParkPortsmouth.