Memorial park should be ready for September
Work has started on a £1M restoration of Grantham’s Wyndham Park into a World War One Memorial Park.
There will be a new visitors centre with toilets and the Memorial Arch, shelter, ticket office and model boat lake will be restored.
Interpretation boards will be erected to highlight and ecological features and landscaping will be improved through extra trees and other plantings.
The restored Memorial Park aims to invoke an era when men of the Machine Gun Corps marched through the historic Memorial Arch on their way to training at Belton Park.
The £1M-plus project is largely funded by £818,000 of Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery Funding, with South Kesteven District Council and the Wyndham Park Forum providing the remainder.
Forum chairman John Knowles thanked SKDC for its support, noting it has taken five years to get the lottery funding.
SKDC leader Matthew Lee said he saw the current heritage restoration as the first of many schemes to improve the park in the coming years to reflect its war time heritage.
“We need to do more of that in the district,” he said.
After Coun Lee was presented with a trowel, he told the Journal it was right the first phase should be completed this year, 100 years after the end of World War One.
The park has become more popular over the years, receiving 300,000 vistors in 2011 and 800,000 last year, numbers he expects will keep rising.
The restoration will be carried out by contractors Park Woodhead Ltd, helped by architectural partners Southern Green and Hugh Massey.
The park restoration work is due for completion in September, with a ‘Dawn of a New Era’ family celebration re-opening.
This year, the park will also host its annual Easter Egg Hunt, Mayday in the Park, Shakespeare in the Park (Romeo and Juliet), the Halloween Sppoktacular and Christmas in the Park.
In November, a special ‘Battle’s Over’ tribute event sees Wyndham Park join with communities and organisations across the work with a beacon lighting ceremony to mark 100 years since the end of World war One. hh