£750,000 boost revealed for Blackburn’s Corporation Park

Published Thursday 21 March 2024 at 13:02

Corporation Park is set to benefit from £750,000 of new funding successfully secured by Blackburn with Darwen Council.

It’s one of many important projects across the town and borough that will share an impressive £20m from the new Levelling Up Partnership with Government.

The good news comes just days after it was also revealed that funding has been secured from Historic England to support plans to restore the park’s historic conservatory.

And work is set to start next week on revamping the tennis courts there too – again after new funding was secured by the Council.

Councillor Quesir Mahmood, the Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Growth and Development, said:

For generations, Corporation Park has been enjoyed by residents and visitors to Blackburn.

Indeed, there’s a fascinating report from its grand opening in 1857 that says 60,000 people turned out for the ceremony with shops closing at noon and workers being allowed home early to join in the celebrations.

Today it remains a traditional, Grade II* listed, Victorian park that is registered by English Heritage as having special historic interest and it’s still incredibly popular.

Sadly though, with the huge budget pressures the Council has faced due to austerity over the last decade, we’ve seen the park decline, against all of our wishes, and so this new funding is very much welcome.

We’re now in the process of finalising our business plan with Government for how the £750,000 will be spent at Corporation Park and can’t wait to be able to announce more details about the difference it is going to help make.

This really is fantastic news!

At the beginning of March, it was announced that Blackburn with Darwen Council has successfully secured £20m of new Levelling Up funding – taking the grand total to £125m.

At the heart of the bid is £8m to renovate the ever-popular King George’s Hall – the jewel in the crown of Blackburn’s £50m Cultural Quarter.

There’s also investment for the likes of The Exchange, Imperial Mill and Tony’s Ballroom.

Councillor Mahmood added:

The way Council’s are funded has changed considerably and so successfully securing the funding on the level we have in the last 12 months is incredibly important to our borough and a real testament to our reputation of delivering.

I would like to personally congratulate everyone involved.

As a Council, we’re focused on the issues that residents tell us are important to them – with parks and playgrounds always high on the agenda.

Indeed, I was really pleased to be at the official opening of the new playgrounds at Witton Park recently – by using funding from new homes in the area, it’s the most we’ve ever spent on playground upgrades in the borough and the response has been fantastic

Thanks to strong financial planning, in our recent Council budget, we were also able to commit an extra £1.7m for things that residents tell us really matter to them, including funding for park attendants, more playground upgrades and shrub pruning. This is exactly what residents want us to do when we get elected.

We’ll keep building on this as best we can and make the most of every single penny we secure.

At Corporation Park, visitors can enjoy a busy playground, multi-use games area, cycle tracks, bowling greens and scenic walks.

The tennis courts are set to be transformed in the coming weeks too with £45,000 secured from the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) through their Parks Investment Program.

There’s an active Corporation Park Supporters Group made up of volunteers helping to protect and improve the quality of the park for the community to enjoy.

Corporation Park Celebration

The group’s chair, Nicola Beswick, welcomed the new £750,000 of funding saying:

This funding gives the opportunity to address some of the long-term maintenance issues to ensure existing features in the park can be enjoyed in future years.

Equally it gives the chance to create new features that can both better serve our diverse local communities and attract new visitors from near and far.

Even with funding the park faces many challenges.

Corporation Park Supporters Group are looking for volunteers who are keen to get involved. Anyone interested should contact us at: info@corporationparksupportersgroup.com

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