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Clare Castle Country Park awarded £1.5million National Lottery grant for new projects

PUBLISHED: 16:17 22 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:17 22 March 2018

A CGI of what the visitor centre at Clare Castle Country Park will look like. Picture: CLARE CASTLE COUNTRY PARK

A CGI of what the visitor centre at Clare Castle Country Park will look like. Picture: CLARE CASTLE COUNTRY PARK

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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.

A CGI of what the visitor centre at Clare Castle Country Park will look like. Picture: CLARE CASTLE COUNTRY PARKA CGI of what the visitor centre at Clare Castle Country Park will look like. Picture: CLARE CASTLE COUNTRY PARK

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.

“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.

“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.”

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