[Image: Cllrs Haythornthwaite and Smithson with MP Sara Britcliffe at Memorial Park]
Hyndburn Borough Council has set out ambitions to add another site to its record number of Green Flag parks, thanks to Government Levelling Up funding.
Proposals went to February’s Cabinet meeting, to seek approval for a Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities grant to be allocated to improvement works at Memorial Park in Great Harwood. Cabinet agreed and the Council is now looking forward to work commencing.
Cllr Steven Smithson, Portfolio Holder for Parks, said:
“The Borough has been awarded £85,000 from the £9 million Levelling Up Parks Fund – designed to increase access to quality green space, tree planting in urban areas, and pride in local places. It’s hoped the revamp will complement Lottery-funded works already agreed at the Great Harwood Park. Memorial Park is not currently one of Hyndburn’s ten Green Flag-holding parks and open spaces, however one of the expectations for receiving the Levelling Up Parks funding is to work towards gaining Green Flag status which would be fantastic.”
Proposals include refurbishing the footpaths in the War Memorial Garden out of the 2023/24 capital budget, with the remaining £37,500 spent on tree planting, project preparation, creation and maintenance, plus related costs. The funding is separate from the £20m of Levelling Up money awarded to Hyndburn by the Government in January.
A total of £248,650 plus Hyndburn Borough Council match funding has already been awarded to the 102-year-old park following a successful bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as reported to Cabinet in January 2023. Part of this funding is to undertake repairs to the War Memorial, with Proffitts CIC to be appointed project manager/designer for the works. This followed an extensive public consultation which showed residents would like to see improvements including refurbishment of park facilities, sustainable horticulture and footpath works.
Cllr Carole Haythornthwaite, County Councillor, said:
“The gardens are visited by many people throughout the year and host the town’s annual Remembrance Sunday event. Unfortunately, the footpaths around the War Memorial are in a poor condition as they have weathered over time and suffered from drainage issues. Tree planting will provide an opportunity to increase the tree cover and biodiversity of neighbouring green spaces. This work is very welcome, and I am pleased to see the levelling up fund money will be used to address what residents asked for as part of the previous consultation.”
Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn, said:
“I am really pleased to hear about the future plans for this much-needed funding. Levelling up is about making sure communities get the things they need, in the right places. I know how important green spaces are to local residents and these improvements are exactly what people have asked for. I look forward to visiting the completed works and would like to thank all the groups and organisations involved in making these plans a reality.”