As reported in the South Manchester Reporter by Marie Burchill 29/ 5/2008 (View the Article)
Conservationists from Longford Park have vowed to fight on after being told that their £2 million lottery bid has been unsuccessful.
Members of the Friends of Longford Park and bosses at Trafford Council had submitted their bid to bosses at the Heritage Lottery Fund back in April – in the hope that the massive cash injection would allow them to restore the park to it’s former Victorian glory.
However, conservationists have now been dealt a hammer blow, after lottery chiefs revealed that their bid had been unsuccessful.
Despite the knock-back, the Friends have said that they remain ‘undeterred’ in their aim to get the funding, which will allow them to restore many of the park’s rich historical and cultural features.
They are already working, together with Trafford Council, to draw up another bid – which they hope to submit to lottery chiefs in September.
Angela Elphick, of the Friends of Longford Park group, said: “We worked very closely with Trafford Council to get this bid together and we are all very disappointed that it has been rejected. Members of Trafford Council put a lot of effort into the bid and I can’t fault them at all.
“The park is now in a very sorry state. The majority of people had been banking on this money becoming available so that something could be done to turn the park’s fortunes around.
“But now it has become clear that we are not going to be getting the funding any time soon, people are becoming increasingly angry and want some action to be taken to improve the condition of Longford Park.
“Because of this general feeling we are not discouraged, as we know that everybody will join forces to turn this decision around.”
John Lamb, director of operations at Trafford Council, said: “The council are undeterred in their current application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their £2 million bid for the restoration of Longford Park. The Heritage Lottery Fund recognised that we submitted a high quality bid that possessed strong community involvement, strong financial viability and high match funding levels.
“The council will be re-submitting the application in September.
“We appreciate it is a highly competitive process, but with the support, effort and hard work of the numerous partners and park users we remain confident of a successful bid.”
Sara Hilton, Heritage Lottery Fund manager for the North West, said: “We realise that this is disappointing news. “While the application for Longford Park met the funding criteria, there were a number of other projects which were considered to deliver more comprehensive conservation, participation and learning benefits.
“We have already held further discussions with council representatives to explore ways forward and have offered on-going support if they decide to submit a further application.”
The Friends group will hold a meeting at the neighbourhood forum on Tuesday, June 10 in Trafford Town Hall to discuss the future of Longford Park. It will take place between 6pm and 8pm. For more information, call Angela Elphick on 0161 864 1326.