Dementia garden plans for Sandwell park

A group of park volunteers want to take over and convert a former Victorian’s keeper’s lodge into a bicycle hub and cafe.

Ian McDermott, chairman of the park’s friends group, next to the derelict lodge, which the group hopes to get refurbished
Ian McDermott, chairman of the park’s friends group, next to the derelict lodge, which the group hopes to get refurbished

The Wednesbury-based Friends of Brunswick Park are also hoping to create a dementia garden for residents from nearby care homes to enjoy.

The group have now drawn up draft proposals seeking to lease the building from Sandwell Council.

Ian McDermott, 62, chairman of the Friends of Brunswick Park, said: “We hope to have a meeting with the council in the next few weeks.

“The building has been empty for more than a year and has been boarded up after being broken into last year by people who stripped out many of the fittings.

"We are waiting for the local authority to respond and then planning to seek an enabling grant from the Lottery Fund.

“This would enable us to work on a detailed business plan.”

Mr McDermott added: “All the other town parks have had major financial help but Brunswick Park has had nothing.

Important

“We hope to access funds through the local authority and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“The project would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and even restoring the car park for disabled access could cost £50,000.

"We have asked the local authority if we can take over the building and hope to put our draft plans forward to the authority at a meeting in the next few weeks.”

The Friends of Brunswick Park have also been celebrating after the park gained Arboretum Status.

Speaking about gaining the special status, Mr McDermott said: “To grain the accreditation we had to meet various conditions and among these was our tree trails which can be downloaded.

“These have proved particularly important as during the pandemic people have realised parks and outdoor spaces are important.”

Although the park is one of the smallest in the Sandwell borough, it covers about 25 acres with thousands of trees on two sites near Wood Green Cemetery.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News