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Faversham Rec makeover

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Wednesday 18 July

£1.9m makeover on it's way

Faversham Recreation Ground will be given a new lease of life after we successfully bid for National Lottery funding to transform the park.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BLF) have announced the scheme has been awarded more the £1.6m for an ambitious, heritage-led, regeneration scheme that will restore many of the park’s historic features, and improvements to facilities.

The funding also supports a five year action plan of community engagement which will open up the site’s history to current users, and target groups who may not have thought about using the park previously.

The news comes two years after the council won £117,800 initial funding from the HLF and BLF to develop plans for a wide range of improvements to the 20 acre recreation ground.

This led to detailed consultations taking place with local residents and organisations to help draw up fully costed plans that were submitted in January.

The planned improvements and activities include:

Cllr David Simmons, cabinet member for environment and rural affairs at the council, said:

"This is fabulous news for the town, and will help us build on the 150-year history of The Rec to make sure the park will be enjoyed by the local community for generations to come.

"Local people have been involved every step of the way, and thanks to their contributions, a lot of hard work by the team here and the support of our partners, the park will be given a new lease of life.

"There’s still a lot of work to do, but thanks to National Lottery players, we’re now able to start planning the works and creating a park local people can be proud of."

HLF’s Chief Executive Ros Kerslake, said:

"Parks may vary in size, location and design but what they all have in common is the wealth of benefits they deliver to local communities.

"From economic prosperity and ecological diversity, to personal well-being, parks are essential to the health of the nation.

"That’s why we have invested a combined £950million of National Lottery funding regenerating parks like Faversham Rec and they remain a priority for us into the future."

The next steps for the council are to:

re-appoint the specialist team who drew up the plans in order to get a detailed programme of works

re-engaging with key stakeholders in the community who have helped in the first two stages

establish the Community Park Forum who will be used to help guide the activity programme for the site

Initial work is expected to begin in the autumn, with improvements to the play areas, with remaining works getting underway in the spring in order to schedule them around existing users.

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