Thanet District Council and Friends of Ellington Park have worked collaboratively, in a unique partnership and submitted the second stage Heritage Lottery Fund bid for £1.8m to regenerate Ellington Park, Ramsgate.
The partnership achieved a £164k development grant in January 2017, and has been working hard to develop the plans, with the support of a professional design team – Allen Scott Landscape Architects, Clague Architects and Woodley Coles Quantity Surveyor – as well as the local community and project partners.
This partnership led a wide-reaching community consultation with Ramsgate residents, to deliver:
- Conservation Management Plan that understands the heritage, social and cultural importance and condition of Ellington Park
- Masterplan to develop the design of the park, maintaining and improving heritage features and landscape alongside new café and toilets
- Management and Maintenance Plan that has developed a robust 10-year plan to manage and maintain the park and the new improvements
The consultation, which reached over 6,000 local residents through surveys, workshops, interviews and 1-2-1 open days to support the project designs, has resulted in the development of a five year Activity Plan for the park.
The activity will include ecology and wildlife learning programmes for schools and families, gardening volunteer programmes, an events programme, setting up a community digital archive and app, as well as offering many and varied opportunities for local residents to engage with the park and its volunteers.
The new cafe business plan sets out how the café building will be run and managed as an environmentally friendly, healthy eating, not–for–profit community enterprise by the Friends of Ellington Park. All profits will be re-invested in the park, specifically to employ a community gardener and continue community activities and events after the funding period is finished.
This bid was submitted in August 2018 and a decision will be made in January 2019, with the project taking another two years to procure, build and complete the capital works, followed by many years of events and activity.
Cllr Jason Savage, Cabinet Member for Operational Services at Thanet District Council said: “The submission is the first step on the path to achieving the vision that has been set out for Ellington Park. It is an exciting time and we very much hope that our application is a success. The park is so important to the community and the ideas being put forward are a true reflection of the community consultation. We along with the Friends of Ellington Park, local residents and park users are committed to seeing this historic open space restored.”
Beverley Perkins, Chair of the Friends of Ellington Park group said: “Having worked on this project for five years, The Friends of Ellington Park are now eagerly awaiting the Heritage Lottery Fund outcome to this application for funds to regenerate the park.
“The design was decided by public consultation, so the park will truly be a ‘Ramsgate Asset’ of beauty and value. We can’t thank Thanet District Council Councillors and officers enough for supporting and leading this bid.”
If successful, the partnership will continue positive ‘reclamation’ of the park, ensuring its important heritage remains in the hearts of the local people, and central to Ramsgate’s regeneration. This is only possible with the support of HLF funding. Announcements relating to the status of the bid will take place in January 2019.