People power wins thousands for park

As reported on December 1st 2009 by Kirsty Elleray (View the Article)

CAMPAIGNERS celebrated Longford Park winning the People’s Millions.

The park which borders Chorlton and Trafford has scooped £50,000 after ITV viewers voted it to be a worthy recipient.

The money which comes from the Big Lottery Fund will help transform areas of the park.

It will enable the deteriorating rose garden to be turned into a beautiful garden; allow the use of the latest sustainable technology to restore running water to the ornamental rock gardens; and enable pupils from south Manchester schools to get involved with transforming and maintaining the gardens.

Margaret Westbrook, from the Friends of Longford Park, said: “We are delighted to get the money – this is a dream come true and we’d like to thank all the people in Chorlton and Stretford who helped and who voted for us.”

Trafford Council, which had led the bid along with the Friends of Longford Park, Stretford Grammar School and other campaigners, says the money will form an important stepping stone to future improvements.

Executive councillor Jonathan Coupe said: “I am delighted that our bid was successful and would like to thank everyone who voted.

“The Friends group, local schools and council staff put a lot of hard work into this campaign and I’m now looking forward to seeing the project come to life.”

The campaigners’ plea for the money was filmed and shown on ITV on Wednesday, November 25. Their bid was one of five out of eight competing projects to be awarded money.

A spokesperson for the People’s Millions confirmed that Longford Park will receive the money once the administration processes have been completed.

Longford Park campaigners have been trying to raise £2 million to upgrade the park and have twice failed to secure £2 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said they – along with other campaigners – would continue to look for new funding incomes.