YES!! We’ve got it!!!

This is the news we've all been waiting for…. There will be more details around implementation and the timetable at the meeting in Lightwoods Park at 4pm this afternoon!

Sandwell Council’s Parks and Countryside Services has received a grant of £3.6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) for the Lightwoods Park and House Restoration project, it was announced today. The aim of this project is to restore the historical elements of Lightwoods Park and refurbish the Grade II Lightwoods House so more people can enjoy, learn about and become involved in the park and house. It is proposed that the physical works will commence on site in October 2014 (following a final design and tendering process) and be completed for March 2016, with Lightwoods House opening in the summer of 2016.

Councillors Eling and Piper with Project Officer Cherie O'Sullivan and Friends' Chair Richard Marshall

The project will include the restoration of the drinking fountains, the 19th Century Bandstand, Shakespeare Garden, walls and railings and a pond. The project will also incorporate access improvements and a new play area. The project aims to bring the Grade II listed house, which was built in 1791, back into public use for community meetings, training and functions, a Children’s Centre and on site offices for the park/house management and police. The ground floor will provide public toilets, a tea room and exhibition space. The upper floors of the House will provide rooms for the community, conferencing, weddings and commercial activities. The plant nursery will become a horticultural training centre. Educational and events programmes are also planned for the park and house, with volunteers given training so they can help care for the park and house.

Lightwoods Park and House are at the heart of the local community and have great historical importance. Cherie O’Sullivan, Lightwoods Park Project Officer, said: “This is fantastic news for everyone. Lightwoods Park is becoming increasingly popular and I am so pleased we can now look to putting the restoration plans into action. A big thank you goes out to the Friends Group and the local community who have worked closely with Sandwell Council and have been involved and supported the project since the transfer of the park from Birmingham City Council to Sandwell Council in November 2010”.

Deputy Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Steve Eling, said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund have given us this £3.6 million grant. The total bid value is £5.2 million as £1.6 million is also being funded by Sandwell Council. Lightwoods Park and House not only reflect our local heritage but are valuable community resources. Sandwell Council, the Friends of the Park and House, and the local community are 100% committed to turning Lightwoods Park into something special again. It is great to know that we have now been awarded a successful grant to restore both the park and house to their former glory”.

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said on behalf of HLF and the Big Lottery Fund: “We’re delighted to be able to provide this much needed support for Lightwoods Park when it could not be more needed. Many public parks are really suffering in the current economic climate so this is particularly good news for the area. Parks are important to all of us and add so much to our quality of life. Lightwoods Park will help to bring the local community together and now, we can help to secure its future.”


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12 Responses to YES!! We’ve got it!!!

  1. Jean Round says:

    Amazing news, well done all those involved with the grant application. it will be wonderful to see such a beautiful house restored to it’s former glory. Congratulations Bearwood, you should be very proud!

  2. hazel shipton says:

    to everyone who has helped in any way with this [project congratulations for all of your hard work ,it is now the turn of all the people who use the park to help create something special for future generations. let the people of Bearwood pull together and show everyone that yes Bearwood is a good place to be

  3. adamcarey says:

    Really great news to win such a large award for our wonderful Smethwick park. A testament to all the hard work put in by the Abbey ward councillors, council officers and the local community. Looking forward to the investment now taking shape.

  4. sam says:

    Great news for Bearwood! Just spend it wisely

  5. Catherine says:

    Congratulations! Great news

  6. John Kelly says:

    Great news.

    Well done to everyone involved.

    The hard work putting on and attracting the public to the various events since the park was transferred has certainly proved how much people want and enjoy parks. I’m sure the tremendous support shown by the community for the officers and local volunteers at these events helped persuade HLF & BLF to award the grant to Lightwoods.


  7. Teresa Nikolic says:

    Absolutely fantastic news, well done to all involved that have made this happen, lets make it a park to be proud of!!!!

  8. Deborah says:

    Everything we hoped for! Fantastic news for everyone in Bearwood!

  9. Keith Bracey says:

    Brilliant news for Bearwood! Well done Cherie O’Sullivan and Richard and Marie Marshall and all the Friends of Lightwoods Park….very well deserved…..The success of the Mayday Bearwood Festival shows what Bearwood can achieve when over 20,000 people flocked to Lightwoods Park.
    Lightwoods House was built in 1791 when the Lunar Men, Boulton, Watt, Priestley, Withering, Wedgwood, Darwin et al were creating the modern world and the industrial revolution that heralded it about 3 miles away at The SOHO Foundry in Smethwick on SOHO Heath….as a local historian I would like to see some recognition of the fact that these local men created the modern world when they met at SOHO House by the light of a full moon at the time Lightwoods House was being built…..perhaps recognition could be given to these local thinkers, entrepreneurs, inventors and scientists by naming some of the rooms at the refurbished Lightwoods House after these great men when Birmingham and the Black Country was truly the ‘crucible of the industrial revolution’.

  10. evansart says:

    Absolutely wonderful news. And so very much deserved. Congratulations.
    Janie & Dal

  11. littlemissmod says:

    Reblogged this on littlemissmod and commented:
    Absolutely fantastic news!

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