Beds, Herts & Bucks

Houghton Hall Park restoration plan gets £215,000 development money

Gates of Houghton Hall Park
Image caption The park was created in the 17th Century by the Brandreth family

A scheme to restore a 17th Century park has moved a step closer thanks to a lottery grant of more than £215,000.

The work, at Houghton Hall Park in Houghton Regis, will include the restoration of a working kitchen garden and formal garden.

There will be improved paths and a children's play area.

The money, from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund, will help to develop plans towards the park getting a full grant next year.

It is hoped the project will encourage people to share memories about the park and residents will be able to volunteer to help revitalise it.

'Feature of life'

Central Bedfordshire Council has been working on the restoration plan, together with Houghton Regis Town Council and the environmental charity, the Greensand Trust.

Councillor Brian Spur said: "Investment in the park is essential to increase use of this valuable community resource, provide much needed facilities and allow it to meet the increasing pressures from population growth.

"Houghton Hall Park has been a feature of life here for centuries, and this project will help to ensure that it is here and loved for centuries to come," he added.

Houghton Hall Park is the remainder of a 12th Century manorial estate, the park itself was created in the 17th Century by the Brandreth family.

Robin Llewellyn, head of HLF in the east, said: "Many public parks are really suffering in the current economic climate, so this is particularly good news for the area."

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