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£1.9 million transformation of Faversham Rec

Published Monday 7 September, 2020
Last updated on Tuesday 22 September, 2020

People can now enjoy the newly restored heritage buildings and revamped park at Faversham Rec as the £1.9 million transformation work draws to a close.

Swale Borough Council received £1.9 million from the Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund last year to restore many of the park’s historic features and improve the facilities for the locals and visitors that use the recreational ground.

The historic lodge is once again occupied by Faversham Rugby Club after being completely restored and a new kiosk space has been created. A contract for a company to sell refreshments is also on the verge of being awarded after expressions of interest being sought earlier this year.

A new community room has been added to the sports pavilion for local events and training, with refurbished changing rooms and brand-new public toilets to replace the old ones in the separate building.

Part of the £1.9 million will now fund a five-year plan to activate the space now that the construction work is complete.

A new Activities Coordinator has been recruited to bring volunteers together, organise art projects, music events, school visits, photography competitions and tree trails, alongside a Park Ranger to take care of the park and be on hand to assist visitors, carry out maintenance work, litter picks and horticultural projects.

Both recruits will also be the point of contact for the recently formed Friends of the Rec group of local residents and will help organise biodiversity projects and bulb planting with Friends of the Earth.

Visitors of the Rec can now enjoy newly resurfaced pathways, refurbished entry gates, railings around the perimeter of the park and a new outdoor gym.

A brand new SECAMB defibrillator can also be found on the pavilion in a secure cabinet for public use in case of an emergency.

Cllr Tim Valentine, cabinet member for environment at the council, said:

“We are delighted with the restoration and improvement work to the historic buildings, green spaces and play areas at the Rec.

“The £1.9 million heritage fund and national lottery community fund investment has transformed this popular recreational ground in the heart of Faversham.

“It’s been a difficult year for everybody and we’re glad that our contractors were able to complete the work despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.”

Cllr Eddie Thomas, chairman of the Faversham Rec project board, said:

“This is a real win for local people and visitors who use the Rec.

“It really does have a brand-new look and feel about it, with history restored and new facilities for the public.

"We’re particularly looking forward to building upon the work already started between the new park ranger and groups that want to promote biodiversity.

“Our activity coordinator is looking forward to meeting and working with local people to arrange events, so that we all can enjoy our newly refurbished Rec."

For more information about Faversham rec visit our Faversham Rec page.

Work to improve the park includes:

  • refurbishment of the former gardener’s lodge and loggias
  • restoration of original wrought iron gates and new boundary fence on Whitstable Road and Park Road
  • reinstatement of some areas of historical planting and paths
  • re-imagining unique features such as the drinking fountain and milestone
  • refurbishment of the main changing pavilion and toilet block
  • improvements to both the play area and skate park
  • development of a catering kiosk
  • creating an outdoor performance space
  • establishing a Community Park Forum
  • employing a park activities co-ordinator, park ranger and two horticultural apprentices
  • recruiting volunteers and offering training opportunities
  • a programme of events to bring the park alive.