IT has taken much longer than expected.
But the massive revamp of Huddersfield’s historic Greenhead Park is now nearing an end.
Final touches to the outstanding projects are expected to be ready for the start of the school summer holidays in late July, although the main grassed area will not be available for events this year.
And there is no doubt the work has created a superb feature so close to the town centre.
The gleaming conservatory with its new windows is almost ready and will house a restaurant.
The newly-created ornamental lake is another fine feature.
The revamped bandstand and cafe have been welcomed by many visitors and the addition of railings and gates have returned the look the park would have had before railings were removed for their metal in the Second World War.
A council spokesman said: “With work on the lottery-funded scheme now almost complete, we’ve been delighted to see so many families making the most of the good weather and flocking in their thousands to enjoy the refurbished park and its new facilities.
“The brand new children’s play area is proving to be a great hit, as are the new lake and fountain.
“And we’re looking forward to later in the summer when the new planting and seeding schemes will have bedded-in to reveal the full effect of the transformation we’ve managed to achieve.
“We expect the final touches to the conservatory to be made over the next few weeks, so that this and the restaurant can open in time for the summer holidays.
“Work begins on a new scheme next week to resurface and replace fencing around the tennis courts, which we also hope will be in use again by mid-summer.”
It was in August 2008 that work finally started on the huge restoration project.
Kirklees Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund are spending £5.4m revamping the park.
It was decided that the dilapidated conservatory, which is a listed building, would not be demolished.
Instead, the rotting timber window frames and glass have been painstakingly replaced and the building will be used to house a small restaurant and an exhibition space.
The restaurant will be run by Kirklees Council’s in-house caterers.
The major renovation – including work on a new lake – began at the start of 2009 and was expected to take up to 18 months.
But bad weather over the winters of 2009 and 2010 delayed much of the work.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged £3.75m to the plan, while Kirklees is spending £1.6m.
As well as the £300,000 restaurant, £100,000 has been invested upgrading the gates and £240,000 has been spent on reinstating the ornamental lake.