Manchester City Council has reiterated its commitment to restore Alexandra Park following the disappointment of the recent decision by the Heritage Lottery Fund not to grant funds to the project.
Addressing council members on Tuesday, Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council said: "The enthusiasm of the local community to restore Alexandra Park and the work that they contributed to the bid will not go to waste, as we will continue to work with funding bodies and the communities around the park to achieve our plans".
The original bid for a grant to restore the park was submitted in September last year to the Parks for People Fund, a joint initiative between the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery. Meetings with the HLF on the outcome of the bid indicated that the proposed project was a very strong contender for funding but that the limited resources available meant that there were more bids than money available. Because of this positive feedback it has been decided that the City Council will submit a new bid to the new Parks for People programme next year.
The plans for Alexandra Park, which have the support of a number of Sports Governing Bodies, include the reinstatement of the Park's Victorian pathways and other historic features, the re-establishment of flowerbeds, the reintroduction of sporting activity into the park, and a programme of community activities and events involving other partner organisations to revitalise the park.
Councillor Amesbury said: "The new Parks for People programme has different criteria from the original scheme so the bid will be reworked to fit the new conditions. The contribution towards this work by the community around the park will be vital to the success of this new bid and we will make sure that everyone has their say in the scheme."
Alexandra Park sits alongside Princess Road two miles south of the city centre and is a listed Grade II landscape for its innovative design, the completeness of its layout, and the value of its remaining features. It was opened in 1870, after a competition to design the Park was won by the architect Alexander Hennell with the unusual feature of two, male and female, keep-fit areas. He also created a series of curved footpaths, around oval and circular areas catering for the fashion of 'promenading' by large numbers of people.