Sandwell park bids for revamp cash

Sandwell | News | Published:

A multi-million revamp of a park in Smethwick has been agreed with funding plans now being drawn up.

Sandwell Council's cabinet has agreed to back restoration plans for West Smethwick Park.

Council leader Councillor Darren Cooper welcomed the plans saying they would enhance the park's historic features.

The council will now work up proposals and bid for £385,350 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to kick-start the work before submitting an second application for a total of £4.8m.

The rest of the cash will come from council funds and bosses also hope to recruit volunteers to help with some of the work. It's hoped the first phase of work could begin in July when detailed plans for the restoration will be drawn up.

The proposals will be discussed by members of the council's cabinet at a meeting tomorrow when they are expected to approve the first round funding application.

Assistant chief executive Melanie Dudley said: "Parks and countryside services are seeking approval to submit a first round application for £385,350 to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Parks for People Grant.

"The funding will be used to carry out development work required to support a further application to Heritage Lottery Fund to complete the restoration of the historic features in West Smethwick Park."

Councillor Eling said he was in support of the plans, adding: "We are very proud of our parks in Sandwell. We have 12 Green Flag parks – which is the national mark of quality for parks. We are committed to investing in our parks.We have just started a similar restoration scheme at Lightwoods Park and then West Smethwick Park will be next. We are hoping they will also receive the Green Flag. I have not doubt that the restoration scheme will bring a lot of benefits to the park and everyone who uses it."

The total cost of the restoration scheme is expected to be £5,557,000.

Sir James, whose family ran glassworks Chance Brothers & Co in Spon Lane, Smethwick, donated the park to the people of Smethwick in 1875.

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