The 25 hectare (63 acre) Hanley Park is one of the largest Victorian public parks in the UK and it could be in-line for extensive restoration and improvement.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet will consider plans to bid for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of up to £4m for the park at their meeting on Thursday next week . This would be a joint bid with Stoke-on-Trent College, owners of part of the park. The money will be used to restore park buildings, the formal terrace garden with its bridge over the canal, the park’s boundary walls, railings and ornate iron entrance gates, as well as resurfacing the network of footpaths.
The park was designed by Thomas Mawson and completed in 1897. It features on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest and is Grade II listed.
Councillor Andy Platt, Cabinet member for Green Enterprises and City Services said: "Following the fabulous work completed
at Burslem Park, Stoke-on-Trent City Council is determined to keep the momentum going by bidding for further Lottery grants.
“Quality parks and green spaces have a significant positive impact on the health and well-being of local communities and this is part of our Mandate for Change.
“Restoration works at Hanley Park would significantly improve this asset, creating an attractive environment for recreation and relaxation.”
Stoke on Trent College will invest £4m along with a £2m Skills Funding Agency grant, constructing a new sports and fitness centre on the Cauldon Grounds Annex, the part of the park owned by the college.
Sarah Robinson, Principal of Stoke on Trent College said: “The College benefits from its close proximity to the park
which also has the potential to provide outdoor sporting facilities to complement the College’s own indoor sports investment
“The College welcomes the opportunity to work with the City Council and for its students to become involved in a project which is local, relevant to their current studies and is of national significance in terms of its heritage.”
Hanley Park is centrally located within the ‘city centre spine’ in close proximity to the railway station and the new bus station. It is also in the heart of the University Quarter (UniQ). Due to this location, it can play a key role in helping to achieve the ambitions set out in the Mandate for Change.
Staffordshire University will also be working with the City Council and the College to align their joint investment plans and support the park’s regeneration.
A Friends of Hanley Park group, established in January this year and has more than 25 members representing communities from all over Stoke-on-Trent.
The Mandate for Change launched in July last year and is based on four ‘pillars’: making Stoke-on-Trent the place to bring business; supporting and developing existing businesses; working with people to promote independence and healthy lives; and making Stoke-on-Trent a great city to live in.
For all media enquiries contact Ciara Hill in the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232130.