‘A beautiful 21st Century Pleasure Garden, that achieves a renaissance as a unique, fun and restorative environment for all ages; - its illustrious history of architecture, people and events told and experienced in witty and multifarious ways.’
What is it and what’s involved?
The project is a partnership between Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Parks Team, The Friends of Sydney Gardens, local residents’ groups and the Holburne Museum. In 2017 the partnership was successful in securing £332,000 to develop a detailed restoration plan for Sydney Gardens from the Parks for People Heritage Lottery Fund grant programme. The funding was Round 1 in an HLF programme to secure a £3.6m grant to improve the historic park.
Where are we in the process?
We are now in Round 2 (the Development Phase), which runs from May 2017 to August 2018. The second round bid will be submitted at the end of August 2018 and an HLF funding decision on whether to grant the money will be made in December 2018.
The project team is working with local communities, organisations and stakeholders and a multi-disciplinary technical team, led by Landscape Architects LDA Design Ltd. The Development Phase involves refining the initial plans, trying out events and activities and undertaking further consultation.
What are the plans?
The funding will be used to restore historic buildings, invest in landscape and garden restoration works, and create new play areas for all ages, over a three year programme (2019 - 21). Alongside the works, a programme of events and activities around art, nature, horticulture, wildlife, play, sport, archaeology and history will be put on. The project will celebrate the fascinating history of the gardens, with its Cosmorama, Labyrinth, Merlins Swing, Concerts, Public Breakfasts, Galas and Illuminations.
How can I be involved?
Over the Development Phase, we will run public consultation events and exhibitions with plenty of opportunity for people to have their say. Our next public consultation open day is on Saturday 25th November from 11.30am to 4.30pm at the Gardeners Lodge, in Sydney Gardens. Come and view the latest plans, give feedback and share your ideas.
Sign up to our mailing list to receive a monthly e-newsletter with details of events and activities in the park, how you can participate and volunteer, project updates and news of public consultation.
Go to our Events page for details of current activities.
If you're interested in volunteering or have any questions, contact our Community Ranger Sue Palmer.
You can also join the Friends of Sydney Gardens to support the park now and in the future.
What are we currently doing?
Technical site surveys are taking place in the park over the autumn including utilities, historic buildings, ecology and habitat. We are organising events and activities over the development phase, meeting with community groups, researching the history and heritage of the gardens, and working with our partners to develop design plans ready for wider consultation.
Can I see the plans and designs from the Round 1 bid?
Click on the links below to view the PDF documents from the Round 1 bid:
Support for the project
Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North) said of the Round 1 funding award to Sydney Gardens: “I am really pleased that the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund have awarded this money, which will be used to improve what is already a fantastic park.
“We are very fortunate to have many parks and green spaces in Bath and North East Somerset. Sydney Gardens is one of our most beautiful and tranquil open spaces and this money will help to ensure it can be enjoyed by many for years to come.”
Chairman of the Friends of Sydney Gardens, Jonny East, said: “This is a great example of how the council’s Parks Team, working in partnership with the local community, can attract a substantial amount of external investment to help restore and improve this historically important, and much-loved, park.”
HLF’s Chief Executive Ros Kerslake said, on behalf of HLF and Big Lottery Fund: “Public parks play a vital role in our health and well-being. With this investment from National Lottery players there’s real opportunity for a rejuvenated Sydney Gardens to deliver huge benefits to the whole community.”
To date, more than £850million of money raised by National Lottery players has been invested in parks since 1996 through the Parks for People grant programme. The Heritage Lottery Fund Parks for People programme uses money raised by National Lottery players to support the regeneration, conservation and increased enjoyment of public parks and cemeteries. In England the two Lottery Funds have been working in partnership from 2006 to deliver a multi-million pound investment in public parks.
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