Longford Park wins £50,000 lottery grant

As reported in the Stretford and Urmston Messenger December 3rd 2009

THANKS to the support of Stretford residents, run-down Longford Park has won £50,000 to start bringing the historic site back up to scratch.

It was announced last Thursday that the park had won a public vote in the Big Lottery Fund’s People’s Millions competition to secure the cash.

The project will, say organisers – which includes the council and the Friends of Longford Park – breathe new life into the deteriorating rose garden; use the latest sustainable technology to restore running water to the ornamental rock gardens; provide the opportunity for young people from local schools to be involved in all aspects of transforming the gardens and help develop an education pack.

The project is an important stepping stone to future improvements in Longford Park as laid out in the council’s Park’s Masterplan.

Friends of Longford Park member, Margaret Westbrook, told SUM: “This is the first real extra money that we have managed to attract, having failed with the big Heritage Lottery bid last year.

“It effectively marks the start – but only the start – of many future possibilities.

“This is so very important as it will mark the beginning of constructive involvement of young people in our community.

“It also marks the beginning of an imaginative partnership between the school, the Friends, and Trafford Council.”

The money is designed to enable students to restore the Japanese water gardens using green technology and to redesign and replant the rose garden area which is somewhat worse for wear at present.

The council’s executive councillor for parks, Jonathan Coupe, also welcomed the cash injection: “I am delighted the 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 council will continue to work with partners to secure more funding for projects like this one,” he said.