Rhyddings Park could receive a £1.4 million makeover, it has been announced.
The Oswaldtwistle park will be redeveloped by social enterprise Newground, formerly Groundwork Pennine Lancashire, with a grant from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery funds.
An initial grant of £102,400 has been approved to allow the bid for £1.4 million by Groundwork, Friends of Rhyddings Park and Hyndburn and Lancashire councils to go ahead.
The project aims to restore the park, protect its heritage and encourage more local people to use the restored buildings and facilities and to access community activities in and around the park.
The initial funding will be used to develop the business plan and heritage opportunities for the park and, if successful, the bid will see £1,359,500 spent in the park over three years.
Neil Mooney, Chair of the Friends of Rhyddings Park welcomed the news.
He said: “The Friends have experience of delivering activities in the park and are looking forward to working with Newground and the Local Authorities to develop a long term plan for the park and to play a key role in enhancing its future.”
And councillor Ciaran Wells, cabinet member for parks, added: "This is fantastic news for the park and all of Oswaldtwistle. This Council have wanted to improve Rhyddings Park for some time and securing money from the Heritage Lottery Fund will make a massive difference.
"The Friends of Rhyddings Park have worked really hard on this project, along with Groundwork and the Parks staff at the Council."
The money will be spent restoring walls and refurbishing the Coach House so it can be used for meeting rooms, a cafe and training kitchen, improving derelict spaces and returning the walled garden to its traditional use of food growing, improving footpaths, access points and signage in and around the park, establishing a volunteer programme and creating activities for different age groups including guided walks and family fun events.
Rhyddings Park was originally the grounds of Rhyddings Hall, built as home for the mill owning family responsible for many of the local mills and for the surrounding housing, which was built to house their employees.
The park has retained many of its original features and still bears a strong resemblance to the Ordnance survey map of the area from 1851.
Peter Jordan, director of Newground said they were delighted to have the support of the lottery fund.
He said: "Rhyddings Park is a fantastic green space that has enormous potential for the local people. If the project is successful in the next stage, the park will become a real focal point for a wide range of activities that will provide recreational and training opportunities and be a real asset to the town."