Trafford Metro News Supports the 2008 HLF Bid

As reported by Helen Clifton on the 08/08/2008 (View the Article).

CAMPAIGNERS have pleaded for support for their renewed bid to regenerate one of Trafford’s most important parks.

Although an application for a £2 million Heritage Lottery Grant was knocked back in May, the Friends of Longford Park have vowed to battle on, with a new bid to be submitted in September.

They have now launched an online petition to garner support.

John of the Friends of Longford Park said: “When we found out that the first bid had failed we were totally gutted. The next bid is going to be hard because of competition from the 2012 Olympics, so we have to get more support to give us a chance.”

The park once housed Longford Hall, home of Mancunian cotton magnate John Rylands. A successful bid would fund the restoration of the hall’s remains and rose gardens, and the building of a new visitor centre, performance space and multi-use sports arena.

Trafford Council, which has submitted the bid, has promised to match any Lottery money with £400,000 of its own funding.

Improvement work on the park has already started, and a £60,000 children’s play area with disabled access is due to be completed by the end of the week.

John added that the bid reflects a greater emphasis on the park’s heritage.

“I think the first bid failed because it didn’t emphasise aspects of the park’s history enough,” he said.

“The plans have now been altered to take on board the views of the Friends of Longford Park.”