Sutton Borough’s largest area of open space, Beddington Park, is to be extensively improved and upgraded to make it even more welcoming to residents and borough visitors. The work will be made possible thanks to a grant of just over £3m secured by Sutton Council from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund.
After four years of planning and development Sutton’s Liberal Democrat Council has been awarded £3,009,400 from the HLF and Big Lottery Fund ‘Parks for People’ programme. The money will be used to restore, improve and interpret the 58-hectare park that stretches across Beddington, Hackbridge and Wallington. In total, the works will cost £3.7m.
Thanks to the hard work of a number of groups and organisations, of local residents and the project team the plans will now become a reality. Work is due to begin in late 2016 and will involve a number of visual improvements and new features including:
- Enlarging the children’s playground and introducing more equipment to encourage children of all backgrounds to use the facilities;
- Dredging the lake to create a sustainable solution to the ongoing build-up of silt;
- Restoring the Grange Gardens to include a new community orchard.
- Improving entrances and signage, including new interpretation boards and materials;
- Improving parking and access.
- Creating a new garden in the Churchyard Extension.
- Habitat improvement to wetlands, woodlands and the stock pond.
A three-year activities and events programme will begin later this year and include children’s activities, fitness opportunities, walks, talks, and a range of volunteering opportunities.
There will also be an ambitious programme of repairs to existing footpaths, as well as replacement of shrubs and herbaceous planting.
Beddington Park was originally a deer park in the 14th century for the Carew family, whose manor house still stands today. The River Wandle runs through the park and culminates in the lake in the Grange Gardens
The National Lottery grant will enable the improvement of the park’s lakes and waterways, and the Grange Gardens layout.
The project aims to restore and promote Beddington Park’s historic and nature conservation values, allowing visitors and surrounding communities to actively engage with this fantastic open space.
The improvements to Beddington Park will support the council’s One Planet Living targets around cutting carbon emissions and waste, value the natural environment and support healthy communities through active participation, and provide opportunities for the community to enjoy the park’s open space and heritage.
Cllr Jill Whitehead, Sutton Council’s Lib Dem Chair of the Environments and Neighbourhoods Committee, welcomed the major award: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this financial support. To secure a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of just over £3m is a magnificent achievement for everyone involved in submitting the grant bid, particularly our residents. This will make Beddington Park more popular than ever with residents and borough visitors. It will showcase how Sutton is a great place for green open spaces.”
The funding for Beddington Park comes as part of an announcement of £30.7m for 16 parks across the UK.The redevelopment of Beddington Park through the HLF and Big Lottery Fund Parks for People programme is of major significance to the borough.