Hounslow and Ealing Councils have been awarded a grant of almost £4.7m from the Heritage Lottery Fund Parks for People and the Big Lottery Fund to radically restore Gunnersbury Park.
The project aims to transform the 186 acre park into a high quality public space. Works should begin in the autumn. Planned improvements include a new café, re-introducing boating on the Round Pond, and restoring the Orangery, archways, terrace and other listed structures. Some lost park features such as the Horseshoe Pond would be reinstated.
As well as the physical transformation, a major part of Gunnersbury’s restoration project involves introducing new events, services and educational programmes.
Visitor numbers to the park are expected to increase from 600,000 to over one million people per year once improvements are completed. Both councils have also submitted a bid for further funding from the HLF to enable them to restore and remodel Gunnersbury Museum to the same high standard as the rest of the park.
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council said: “This money will help people to really appreciate the historic landscape of the park, as well as enhancing the environment with new facilities for play, refreshment, events and recreation, for people to enjoy for years to come.”
Leader of Ealing Council, Councillor Julian Bell said: “This … will help us make the kind of radical improvements Gunnersbury Park desperately needs to bring it back to its former glory.”
This grant is part of a wider investment of £34.5million of Lottery money to 13 parks across the UK announced today by HLF and Big Lottery Fund.