As reported in the Stretford and Urmston Messenger by Robert Downes 10:00am Thursday 22nd May 2008(View the Article)
ONE of Trafford’s oldest and largest urban parks failed for a third time in a row to access Lottery funding for major improvements there.
News the two million pound bid, put together by the council to breathe new life into crumbling Longford Park had failed, was announced last Friday.
The money would have paid for major improvement work at the sprawling Edge Lane venue, including a new cafe, working toilets, improved play equipment, the relaying of pathways, planting and general repairs.
The rejection of the bid was greeted with anger by park users.
Mum of three, Kay Rooney, who lives in Cromwell Road, said: “It’s absolutely disgraceful. The council are letting the park deteriorate rapidly. The play area’s equipment is unsafe and there are walls falling down everywhere.”
She added: “There’s graffiti, empty flowers beds, broken glass on the floor, the toilets are always closed, and the car park is only part surfaced. Why has this bid failed again?”
The Friends of Longford Park, who were consulted on the latest bid, were also unhappy at the decision. The group’s Angela Elfick said: “We were very disappointed with the outcome. We’re still waiting to hear from our contact at Trafford Council on where we go next.”
But John Lamb, director of operations at the town hall, said the council were “undeterred” and would reapply in the autumn, although it was unclear if the bid would be altered in anyway. “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,” he told SUM.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund recognised that Trafford submitted a high quality bid that possessed strong community involvement, strong financial viability and high match funding levels, and we remain undeterred.”