Council bosses have moved one step closer to obtaining £1.5million in heritage lottery funding to refurbish Rhyddings Park.
The council, working with charity Newground Together, has moved to the second stage of a bid for £1,461,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out renovation works at the Oswaldtwistle park.
In the lottery bid, council officers said the former walled garden and coachhouse were ‘in a very poor state of repair’, so much so that ‘they blight that part of the park’.
The bid read: “The roof of the coach house is unsound and is close to collapse. It requires urgent attention before the fabric of the whole building is damaged to an extent where it becomes a public danger requiring demolition.
“Other features require attention such as improved drainage in the parterre garden and the removal of rhododendrons from the rockery to avoid root damage to the structure.
“Living memory of the park’s origin is in danger of being lost, the hall was demolished in the 1930’s and only residents in their very late 80’s will remember the original hall.”
Craig Haraben, Head of Parks and Cemeteries at Hyndburn council, said: “The park has a derelict corner where the only original park buildings and the former kitchen garden are located.
“Refurbished they can provide a community hub for the very active “Friends” to celebrate local heritage, promote activity and wellbeing, and develop a social enterprise generating income for the park.
“The park is not used by key sections of the largely deprived local community, most are unaware of its heritage but recent research has indicated great potential for community development focused on community engagement and heritage.”
Council leaders voted in favour of moving the heritage lottery bid forward at a meeting of cabinet on Wednesday, December 3, the outcome of which will be known in August next year.
Ward councillor and Conservative group leader Peter Britcliffe welcomed the bid. He said: “I welcome the proposal, it’s not before time. Rhyddings has been very badly neglected by this administration.”