Parks around the country are undergoing a renaissance at the moment, as more and more people are recognising the amazing benefits that they can provide.
A £5.6M facelift for Huddersfield's Greenhead Park has been given the go- ahead.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has said it will give £3.75m towards the cost of restoring the historic park to its former glory, with Kirklees Council paying the rest of the cost.
The park, managed by Kirklees Culture and Leisure Services, is a Grade II listed Victorian park and visited by thousands of Huddersfield people every week.
The scheme – in the pipeline for many years – will reinstate many of its original features.
The ornamental lake by the bandstand will be restored, as will the perimeter railings and gates. They are believed to have been removed to contribute metal to the war effort during the Second World War.
The plans also include repairing the fountains and refurbishing features such as the bandstand, the lodge and the belvedere, the imposing setting for the war memorial.
In addition, the conservatory will be fully restored, with a new building added to the back of it for a new restaurant and small car park.
The conservatory has been in a sorry state for many years.
The present café – the refreshments rooms – will be refurbished and include a new cafe, public toilets, offices for park staff and a function room or classroom.
There will also be repairs to steps and footpaths around the park, together with drainage, new signs and bins and additional planting.
A design team will be appointed for the project, followed soon after by a works contractor.
The intention is that the improvement work will begin next summer and last about 18 months.
Confirmation of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant has delighted Kirklees councillors and officials.
Clr Liz Smaje, Kirklees Cabinet member for leisure and neighbourhood services, said: “Parks around the country are undergoing a renaissance as more and more people are recognise the amazing benefits that they can provide.
“Not only do they provide fantastic places to relax and enjoy the natural environment, but they are great places to exercise, meet friends and take the family.
“Greenhead Park is no exception to this, as is evident by the quarter of a million visits made to the park each year.
“The restoration of Greenhead Park has been talked about for many years and now it is actually going to happen.
“This is a wonderful chance for us to return the park to its glorious best and provide facilities that will make it a fantastic venue for events and a great place to go for the people of Kirklees, as well as visitors to the area.’’
Fiona Spiers, Heritage Lottery Fund Manager for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "Our parks are a much-loved legacy from the Victorian era and play a vital role in our modern towns and cities.
“But time can take its toll on these green havens and it is our aim that everyone has access to a park they can be proud of. Today's news will ensure Greenhead Park is restored to its former glory for future generations to enjoy.’’
The Heritage Lottery Fund enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage.
It awards grants for museums and historic buildings and to local parks and beauty spots. It is also geared to recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history.
The fund has supported more than 26,000 projects, allocating £3.97bn across the UK.
Since 1994 the fund has invested almost £300m on more than 2,200 projects in Yorkshire and Humberside.