The Ellington Park restoration project is nearing completion with the new playground now open alongside the unveiling of the bandstand and the new café, run by the Friends of Ellington Park, already open for a trial period and training.
The Ellington Café is a single story building with knapped flint panels to coordinate with the original flint on the terrace wall. The main space has an indoor seating for 36 and has been designed to be a flexible multi-purpose space with hidden storage and sink for workshops and events.
Thanet District Council and the Friends of Ellington Park ensured the café was designed with energy efficiency as a priority. The recent Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) gave an ‘A Rating’ for the building, with a 36% reduction in CO2 emissions. Potential over heating from solar gain is between 57.2% and 95.7% lower than building regulations target. Overall from the government’s records for efficiency ratings since 2009, the Ellington Café’s rating is within the top 1.7% of England’s 922,170 non-domestic buildings.
Beverly Perkins, Chair of Friends of Ellington Park said: “Achieving such an ecologically successful design for the café is a great credit to everyone involved – The Design Team, Thanet District Council, and the Friends. To continue this ethos, the café will source food and drinks locally and operate no plastic and limited waste policies.”
The new playground has wooden balancing beams, seesaw, climbing frames, swings and climbing rocks. The play area has been designed with natural sustainable materials and the old play area will be removed with some items reused (where possible) across the district.
The 120 year old Victorian bandstand was restored by specialists Lost Art and kept under wraps until the major work of the café and landscape had been completed.
Cllr George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Youth Engagement at Thanet District Council, said: “The regeneration of Ellington Park has been a long-term project and it is wonderful to see all of the plans coming to fruition. It has been exciting to see all of the changes and the great work that can be achieved through strong community partnerships.
“The new café and updated playground reflect the desire of the local residents who were consulted on these plans from the outset. The bandstand provides a wonderful focal point for the park and it is really exciting to see such an iconic feature within Ellington Park restored to its former glory. This is a major milestone in the park’s regeneration journey.“
The remaining landscape works will continue for another couple of months and include new heritage stone balustrades, boundary fencing, planting, interpretation features, new website and signs. The café will continue to operate during this period, and some events will be taking place.
The café, toilets and bandstand refurbishment are part of a £1.8million project launched by Thanet council and Friends of Ellington Park who worked together to secure money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, for the regeneration of the site, under the Parks for People Programme.