6 September 2016

Stanmer Park plans move closer as council submits Heritage Lottery bid

Plans for a £5.8 million restoration at the heart of Stanmer Park are moving closer as the council has submitted its bid for Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Funding.

The Stanmer Park and Estate Restoration Project aims to restore around 20 hectares of the park’s landscape, and Grade II listed buildings. Brighton & Hove City  council is hoping to secure a £3.7 million grant toward the project and plans to cover the remaining costs through match funding and revenue.  A decision is expected to be made in December.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee said: “We are very pleased that, after months of working closely with our partners, we have finally submitted our bid for lottery funding.

“This is a one off opportunity to receive nearly £4 million funding to halt the decline of the City’s largest park and create new employment and opportunities for residents and visitors.

"We are now keeping our fingers crossed for the best Christmas present ever – a bright future for Stanmer Park!"

Stanmer Park is a working landscape which includes opportunities for many leisure activities, farming, grazing and food growing. It is also home to residents living in Stanmer Village and a base for several businesses, including the council nursery, South Downs National Park Authority offices and community groups and organsisations

In July 2014 the council made two applications for Heritage Lottery Funding for Stanmer Park. They were a ‘Heritage Grant’ application to renovate Home Farm, and a ‘Parks for People’ application to regenerate the Walled Garden and other parts of the Stanmer landscape.

The applications were made as part of a wider, long term plan to restore Stanmer Park. The Heritage Grant application was unsuccessful, but the Parks for People application resulted in the council being awarded almost £300,000 to develop proposals.

Since then, council officers have been working with Plumpton College and the South Downs National Park and other organisations (including Heritage England) to prepare a Masterplan for the park and a final application for stage 2 funding to Heritage Lottery Fund/Big Lottery Fund. The plan aims to prioritise restoration and improvement work and develop a long term vision for the estate over the next 10 years.

The Masterplan aims to improve the main entrance and 18th century parkland main and approach to Stanmer House, Walled Garden and Nursery and the adjacent depot area.

This includes:

Restoring the landscape and heritage features
Addressing traffic and parking issues, and improving access to the park
Relocating the council’s City Parks depot
Restoring the Walled Garden Nursery and surrounding area
Delivering horticultural and heritage gardening training and food production
Providing educational and learning opportunities
Explaining the heritage and importance of the Estate.

In addition proposals include opportunities for volunteering and training in horticulture, heritage gardening and food production, along with facilities for learning about the heritage of the estate, historic landscape and the South Downs.

Plumpton College has agreed, in principle, to manage and maintain the walled garden on a lease from the council.

The future of all the city’s other parks and open spaces, is currently under discussion as part of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Big Parks and Open Spaces Conversation.

To take part and have your say, visit: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/parks-consultation

Paper copies of the consultation are also available and the deadline is October 28.