A MAN who began his business yards from Greenhead Park is playing a key role in its regeneration.
Ken Woodcock set up his glass business in Park Avenue, which runs alongside Huddersfield’s historic park.
Now he and his firm, Novaglass Gardner and Newton Ltd, have offered to provide all the glass needed to re-glaze the park’s historic conservatory.
It is being cut and supplied free of charge.
The conservatory is undergoing refurbishment as part of a major £5m project to return to the park to its former glory.
The Lockwood-based firm has now start cutting the 450 sq metres of glass needed to complete the new-look building.
Mr Woodcock established the company over 20 years ago in a small workshop in Park Avenue, just around the corner from the conservatory.
Even at that time, the conservatory was in decline, with the majority of windows being broken, and the building being in general disrepair.
When he learned of plans to make the conservatory once again the jewel in the crown of the Victorian park, Mr Woodcock, whose firm now employs some 50 plus staff and is based in larger premises in Lockwood, was keen to help.
“Park Avenue and the people of Huddersfield gave me a good start, so it’s my way of thanking them.”
The original plans were to reuse as many of the existing panes of glass as possible. Many were removed to allow repairs to and the repainting of the steel frame and the wooden structure it supports. That glass will now be recycled.
Mr Woodcock’s offer was accepted after several weeks of discussion between the company, planners, the design team working on the park project and, because the conservatory is grade II listed, English Heritage.
Novaglass Gardener and Newton Ltd is working with Ronan Developments, the company managing the conservatory refurbishment project, to provide nearly 2,000 panes of varying sizes ranging from 18in x 12in to tiny triangles.
All will have to be hand-cut because of their individual measurements, partly because the conservatory has changed shape over the years.
The reglazing started in June and will take until the end of the summer to complete. After that, a new porcelain tile floor will be laid.
The conservatory, which will be open to the public when completed, will be filled with large plants and have a pond with fish.
There will be doors linking it to the new restaurant included in the plans for the park.
Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan said: “It is very generous of Mr Woodcock and his company to provide the glass and this donation shows how local people want to help us ensure the park’s future.
“The conservatory is a major feature of the park and breathing new life into is a crucial part of the park refurbishment scheme. Brand new glass really will make it shine bright once more.”
The work in the park has seen new boundary railings and gates erected and in the main events arena, work to install a new drainage scheme has recently begun.