A £1.64million National Lottery award has been granted for regeneration at Ellington Park in Ramsgate.
The cash makes up the lion’s share of the £1.8million investment to regenerate Ellington Park in Ramsgate through the creation of a new café, toilets and landscaping.
Ellington Park is 126 years old. The late Victorian and Edwardian landscaped area is across 13 acres of land. It was laid out in 1893 on what was once part of the estate surrounding Ellington House.
The park was designed by the Victorian landscape company Joseph Cheal and Son, known for their work at Hever Castle and Kirkstall Abbey.
Thanet council and the Friends of Ellington Park have worked together to develop the bid for the funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. The partnership achieved a £144k Development Grant in January 2017, and have been developing the plans, with the support of professional design team, the local community and project partners. After 18 months a Round 2 application was submitted resulting in the grant.
Bev Perkins, Chair of the Friends of Ellington Park , said: “After so many years of hard work, and fantastic support from the people of Ramsgate, we are thrilled to know Ellington Park’s future is secured.
“So many people have helped us and this project can only increase our community’s love of the park and our civic pride.”
There will be a new community café and toilets, a restored bandstand, with landscape works to conserve the terrace and bring back Cheal’s landscape scheme.
The new cafe business plan sets out how the café building will be run and managed as an environmentally friendly, healthy eating, not–for–profit community enterprise by the Friends of Ellington Park. All profits will be re-invested in the park, employing a community gardener and continuing community activities and events after the funding period is finished.
The proposed building will also be used as an education space in the day time and community events space in the evenings. It will be on the terrace overlooking the park, in the same location as the original rustic bandstand.
The 100sq metre café building will have 36 seats inside and 24 seats on the external terrace and 3 unisex toilets, with accessible WC and baby change.
There will also be new benches, the promenade will be widened and an outdoor seating area created. There will also be a new public square for market stalls and a petanque area, for the use of more than 90,000 visitors per year.
Cllr Jason Savage, Deputy Leader Thanet District Council said: “We are delighted to hear that our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund has been successful. When we submitted our bid we were very hopeful for a positive outcome.
“This funding is a very significant sum and ensures that we can make great strides on the path to fulfilling the vision for Ellington Park. With the community and ideas that have been put forward, we can be confident that our plans are a genuine reflection of the input received through consultation.
“We are going to continue our partnership with the Friends of Ellington Park, to ensure that local residents and park users see this historic open space restored.”
The Heritage Lottery Fund’s Chief Executive Ros Kerslake said on behalf of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund: “From economic prosperity and ecological diversity to personal well-being, parks are essential to the health of the nation. This National Lottery investment will empower local people to maximise the potential of Ellington Park as a community space and safeguard its heritage for future generations.”
The work by Canterbury-based Clague Architects, led by Gareth Leggeat, Associate, was instrumental in securing planning consent for the regeneration of Ellington Park.
Gareth Leggeat said: “At long last this historic public park will be returned to its former splendour, whilst improving the facilities to ensure it will have a sustainable future as a hugely important public amenity for the people of Ramsgate.”
There will be further announcements as the project starts progressing during 2019. It is expected to take two years to complete.