Ipswich: Holywells Park secures £2.8million funding boost

From left: Council Leader David Ellesmere, Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Robin Gape and Robyn Llewellyn

From left: Council Leader David Ellesmere, Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Robin Gape and Robyn Llewellyn in the park following the announcement - Credit: Archant

Work is set to be begin on one of the town’s hidden gems after the project secured £2.8million of funding.

Ipswich Borough Council has received the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund for the Holywells “Parks For People” restoration project.

The council submitted the bid to regenerate one of the town’s hidden gems and will now begin work to conserve and enhance the park’s unique heritage as well as provide more attractions for visitors.

The improvements made possible by the funding include a visitor centre in the stable block, the restoration of the orangery, an open-air theatre space, new toilets, a fitness trail, better access and an outdoor classroom.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said: “I am absolutely delighted that the hard work of the Friends of Holywells Park and the local community has paid off.

“Holywells Park is an historic part of our town to which the HLF funding will give a fantastic new lease of life. The restoration of the Orangery, a Grade II listed building and one of the last of its kind left in the country, is a particularly important step in preserving the history and heritage of Ipswich.

“The grant will be supplemented by funding from the Friends of Holywells Park and by the borough council.

Most Read

“The money will also enable a series of events and activities to take place within the park to encourage its increased use by the wider and more diverse audience.”

Bryony Rudkin, the council’s culture and leisure portfolio holder, said: “This is great news for Ipswich and for Holywells Park.

“We asked local people what they wanted to see improved and our bid reflected their views.

“We will now be able to undertake this important refurbishment to attract more visitors to one of Suffolk’s finest parts and to ensure that people who come here have more to see and more to do.

Robin Gape, chairman of the Friends of Holywells Park, said the organisation was looking forward to the revival of the orangery and refurbishment of the stable block.

“We know play area users will welcome the installation of a toilet block, while the visitor centre will be an asset, as will the changing places facility,” he added. “Meanwhile, we want to see lots of people coming to the park this year, when the changes get under way next year and in the years following.”

It is hoped the project will bring the park, formerly the home of the Cobbold family, to life.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the East of England, said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide this much needed support for Holywells Park, particularly in the current economic climate when it could not be more needed. Parks are an important amenity knitting communities together.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter