ARGYLL and Bute Council, working with the Friends of Hermitage Park, has secured a £2,087,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to regenerate Helensburgh's historic Hermitage Park after a successful stage one application.
An initial fund of £169,700 has been made available to cover the development phase of the project. This initial phase will end with the submission of an application for a full grant, which includes developing a series of detailed plans to take the regeneration of the park forward.
Work has recently started on the development stage and at this key point in the project the involvement of the local community is vital to success.
Developed in the 1920s, the park is Argyll and Bute’s only urban park. Despite great efforts by the local authority time, wear and tear and anti-social behaviour have taken their toll. Although much loved by many people, it is not used as much as it could be because of its condition and concerns over personal security.
The project aims to restore and enhance the park for the enjoyment of the local community — ultimately restoring the park’s heritage, carrying out major repair work and reconfiguring the recreational spaces.
Input from users of the park is hugely important to compile the long-term regeneration plans and encourage a much greater use of the space. It is hoped to involve local groups and schools in the project and there will be plenty of opportunities for local people to have comment and get involved.
Hermitage Park Development Officer Melissa Simpson has been appointed by Argyll and Bute Council to progress the HLF stage two application. As a first step she aims to involve as many organisations as possible in Helensburgh to establish the Hermitage Park Users Group.
The group will ensure all potential users have a say in how the park is developed.