March 16 2014 Latest news:
Friday, February 21, 2014
Work on the £3.5 million restoration of one of the most historic parks in Ipswich is due to get underway next month.
There has already been some preparatory work on dredging ponds at Holywells Park, once home of the Cobbold family, now the restoration of the old stable block and orangery that were once part of Holywells’ Mansion is set to start.
The old Stable Block will become a visitor centre, with reception, café, education space and improved public toilets.
The Orangery, for years clad by corrugated iron, will be refurbished into an area for exhibitions, meetings and other functions. The work is expected to take 10 months.
Among other improvements is the creation of an outdoor theatre space for community groups and schools in the existing walled garden.
And new toilets and a kiosk will be provided next to the play area, helping parents who currently have to trek with their children to the Stable Block.
Other areas of the park that will also be improved during the restoration:
Staff and volunteer facilities will be provided in the leaf yard;
Entrances will be improved;
New and refurbished footpaths around the park will allow greater accessibility;
New CCTV will be installed;
There will be new benches and seating;
Interpretation panels of the park’s heritage and environmental features will be installed;
A new wellbeing trail and new piece of electronic play equipment will be installed for teenagers who use the park.
A series of annual activities and events will be organised that will increase the number of visitors to Holywells, introducing people to the park that would not otherwise use it. These events and activities will include a Holi festival, a Chopin recital, Tai Chi classes, heritage walks and family fun days.
Bryony Rudkin, the council’s culture portfolio-holder, said: “We are grateful for all the support we have had so far and we are looking forward to the transformation getting under way in early March.
“Holywells Park is a fantastic park and sometimes is not given the attention from visitors that it deserves. This project will really put it on the map and create a new attraction for visitors and the community.”