Nottingham City Council is celebrating after receiving the news that its £130,000 initial bid to restore the Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens has been successful.
The money has been awarded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will be used to improve facilities and create a visitor centre on the park. Nottingham City Council and other funding partners have also contributed with match funding.
The announcement to return the park to its former glory marks the culmination of a development journey which has included two rounds of public consultation. The views of park users, veteran groups and the Friends Group about how the gardens and its facilities could be developed have identified a strong desire to see the area restored and improved.
First stage of work will be developing the designs and plans, leading to a Delivery stage bid. This would then deliver the following:
- Restoring the war Memorial which was unveiled in 1927
- Restoring Queen Victoria’s Statue (dating from 1903) which has been in the gardens since 1953 (previously it sat in the Old Market Square)
- Restoring the pond and fountains
- Improving paths and access
- Re-planting original flower beds
- Installing new furniture
- Creation of a visitor centre and toilets.
An ongoing Activity Plan for the gardens will also set out how the restoration work and activities including historical research and links to both the physical and virtual Roll of Honours. The council will also work with various veteran organisations to help provide work experience and a pathway to help gain permanent employment. It is also proposed to create a Park Co-Ordinator post and two placements over five years. Engagement with the current and future park users will ensure that a legacy can be passed down from generation to generation.
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “Following the successful use of Lottery funding to develop Highfields Park, I am delighted to see further investment in Nottingham’s open and green spaces. Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens are of great importance and have been an asset to Nottingham for nearly 100 years. Last year saw us complete the WW1 Memorial and this additional funding will allow future generations to re-discover the site as a place for contemplation, relaxation and recreation within the local community.”