AN application for much-needed funding for an historic Oswaldtwistle park has been turned down.
The Friends of Rhyddings Park learned earlier this week that their grant application had been refused – but the group has already submitted a second proposal.
It was hoped the Heritage Lottery Fund and Parks for People Lottery would give £1.6M to transform the park by repairing and resurfacing paths, restoring and retaining heritage features and other refurbishment work.
Because the Friends have been waiting for an announcement, some maintenance work has been delayed.
Neil Mooney, chairman of the Friends, said: "It is disappointing but we are hopeful the re-submission will come through. On the plus side, the works that have been put on hold can hopefully go forward soon. The council is committed to using capital funding for essential works"
As there are several stages to the application process for lottery fund grants, it is not known when a decision on the second proposal will be made.
But Oswaldtwistle Area Council chairman Peter Britcliffe said distribution of lottery money has more to do with politics than actual need.
He said: "I think it is disgraceful because we were led to believe it would be a success. Most of the cash, which is in the millions of pounds, has gone to Manchester and Liverpool. What I see is a Government trying to churn up support in larger areas.
"The park has suffered waiting for the refusal of this grant. It’s a disgraceful outcome and adds to the prejudice against this part of the world."
The grounds of Rhyddings Park were originally owned by a mill family who built several halls on the site, the last of which was demolished in the 1930s.
The hall’s grounds opened to the public in 1909.