Clare Castle Country Park awarded £1.5million National Lottery grant for new projects
- Credit: Archant
Trustees of a west Suffolk park are celebrating after being awarded £1.5million of lottery funding for a range of different projects to enhance the visitor experience.
Clare Castle Country Park will now embark on a number of community-focused developments at the site after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) approved its application.
The projects include the refurbishment of the Clare Park Centre – the former railway goods shed – into a multi-purpose space for educational purposes and exhibitions.
Additional public toilet facilities will be included in the building programme, as are plans to de-silt the moat and undertake repairs to the walls and surface of the railway station’s south platform.
Geoffrey Bray, chairman of the Clare Country Park trustees, said: “The success of this bid has been the result of a great deal of hard work by lots of volunteers, as well as our consultants.
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“Without changing the peaceful nature of the park, this delivery stage funding will enable us to embark on a number of exciting and sustainable developments for the benefit of the local community and visitors.”
Derek Blake, trustee, said: “As part of this project we shall be able to develop a range of inclusive, family-friendly, activities and events in the park, building on our circular walks, parkrun and enhanced play area.
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“We shall also be able to introduce enhanced information and signage about the park’s history and wildlife, including some really exciting interpretation of the railway heritage.”
Trustee Richard Smith said: “We are looking forward to the opportunities offered by this funding to provide additional educational facilities for our local schools. Also it enables us to develop an accessible leisure-based learning programme for people of all ages.
“We are especially keen to begin the programme of community-based archaeological digs as soon as possible.”
Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF East of England, said: “From community archaeology and restoring industrial heritage gems to transforming access to play, learning, wildlife and history for people of all ages, National Lottery funding is going to make a major difference in Clare Castle Country Park.
“We are delighted to support this project and look forward to an exciting and community focused future for the park.”