Rhyddings Park has entered an exciting new era, after The Friends of Rhyddings Park, a group of brilliant local volunteers, took on the lease of the old Coach House. This means they can build on their hugely successful run of events, allowing them to work more flexibly when putting on activities and events, plus expanding their offer in the extremely popular coach house café. The group have always opened the café on Saturday and Sunday lunchtime, however they are now opening the café on Mondays and during school holidays on Wednesdays as well, as it already proved such a hit with its many visitors.

The move comes after the completion of a £2 million Heritage Lottery project to refurbish Rhyddings Park and restore the old Coach House. The restoration has proved popular and during the launch week last August over 3500 people attended events in the Park, with around 600 visitors trying out the new Coach House Cafe. Since then there has been numerous activities and events organised by the Friends of Rhyddings Park, such as Qigong, Yoga, camera club, watercolour painting, wizard workshop, sports walking, mums & baby groups as well as children’s parties, tapas nights and comedy clubs.

Such has been the local support for the Friends group that volunteers have so far given up over 1400 hours of their time and energy to support the events and the café, resulting in over 7000 happy visitors already flocking to the Park.

In addition Newground Community Interest Company are running their ‘Volunteer in Parks’ programme which aims to help people get into practical horticulture by growing plants in the walled garden, and undertaking gardening activities in the Park. So please check out the Friends of Rhyddings Park website or Facebook page and the Newground website for upcoming activities, and join in the fun!

Cllr Paul Cox, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said;

“The Lottery Funded work has transformed the park into something the local community can be really proud of and the Council is delighted to lease the coach house to the Friends of Rhyddings Park. The work they have done to put on the different activities and events for the local community in nothing short of spectacular and I can’t thank Ann Warrington and the other volunteers associated with Friends of Rhyddings Park enough, for what they have done.”

Ann Warrington, Chair of the Friends of Rhyddings Park, said;

“We are delighted to be able to build upon what has been achieved in the last 7 months, we are grateful to so many people have brought so much to the park and the community of Oswaldtwistle. We cannot wait until the fresh, park grown vegetables are available for us to cook in the café, we are sure these will make our dishes of the day extra special!”

Deputy Leader, Councillor Paul Cox, in the walled garden at Rhyddings Park.