AGENDA ITEM NO. 7
REPORT TO: Executive Board
REPORT NO: CEnO/12/08
DATE: 2 September 2008
LEAD MEMBER: Councillor David A Bithell
(Environment and Transport)
LEAD OFFICER: Chief Environment Officer
CONTACT OFFICER: Martin Howorth (Tel: 763142)
SUBJECT: Acton Park Heritage Lottery Bid
1. PURPOSE OF THE REPORT
To seek Members’ approval for submitting a bid to the Heritage Lottery programme, Parks for People for Acton Park.
2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
2.1 A report on the National Heritage Lottery Fund – Urban Parks Programme (CCSO/17/96 refers) set out the route the Council would take in the improvement in the urban parks of Acton, Bellevue and Ponciau in 1996. This approved the bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund for Bellevue Park, followed by the Ponciau Banks Park and then Acton Park. Bellevue Park improvements were completed in 2000, the Ponciau Banks Park is in the process of completion and therefore work has commenced on preparing for the Acton Park bid.
2.2 The process for the current Parks for People Heritage Lottery programme is divided into two stages. The stage one process is competitive with other parks across the United Kingdom, therefore, the bid has to be of sufficient quality and merit to pass onto stage two. Council Officers have met with the Heritage Lottery Fund representatives and flexibility is needed for Council Officers, in consultation with local Members, to decide on when to submit the Acton Park bid.
3.1 That Members approve Acton Park as the next bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund Parks for People Programme and approve a stage 1 future bid.
REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
Members agreed in 1996 to a programme of refurbishment of the urban parks of Bellevue, Ponciau and Acton. Acton Park is the last park to be refurbished and would benefit from investment and improvement to upgrade its facilities.
Chief Environment Officer
4. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
4.1 A report on the National Heritage Lottery Fund – Urban Parks Programme (CCSO/17/96 refers) set out the route the Council would take in the improvement in the urban parks of Acton, Bellevue and the Ponciau in 1996. This approved the bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund for Bellevue Park, followed by the Ponciau Banks Park and then Acton Park. Bellevue Park improvements were completed in 2000, the Ponciau Banks Park is in the process of completion and therefore work has begun on preparing for the Acton Park bid.
4.2 A Heritage Lottery Fund project planning grant of £47,000, supported by £2,500 from Acton Community Council and £2,789 from Wrexham County Borough Council has been used to employ Consultants to work with local Members, the local community and Officers to produce the plans required by the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable a stage one bid to be submitted.
4.3 The process for the Parks for People Heritage Lottery programme is divided into two stages. The stage one process is competitive with other parks across the United Kingdom, therefore the bid has to be of sufficient quality and merit to pass onto stage two.
4.4 A bid is proposed to the Heritage Lottery Fund. The major component of the bid would be to refurbish and reline the lake. Match funding could be achieved by contribution from Acton Community Council of £50k and the costs of the salary of the Park Officer (from the existing Environment Department budget).
5.1 Extensive consultation has been undertaken as part of the development of the Acton Park bid. This has included park surveys of current users, the setting up of a Friends Group to act as an interface with the local community, consultation with the local schools, a sample of non-users and hard to reach groups and an open event in the park to which local residents were invited. The Heritage Lottery bid for Acton Park has involved local Members, the Community Council and the local community. This follows a commitment made by the Council to submit bids for Bellevue Park, Ponciau Park and Acton Park. Members will be aware that Bellevue Park and Ponciau Park were successful and local Members and Officers are hopeful that the Council will be successful with the Acton Park
6 SCRUTINY COMMITTEE COMMENTS
6.1 The local members surrounding the Acton Park have had involvement in the development of the proposals. The previous co-chair of the relevant scrutiny committee was consulted on his views as to whether the item should be seen by scrutiny, but it was felt the most appropriate route was through the Executive Board.
7.1 Policy Framework - The Acton Park Heritage Lottery Fund Bid supports Wrexham Refreshed, the Community Strategy for Wrexham’s aim of a Healthy, Caring Place. Specifically, the key objectives:-
§ To build social and physical environments that create the necessary conditions to protect, promote and support health and well-being.
§ To ensure that all public policies contribute to protecting and improving people’s health and well-being.
7.2 Budget - The revenue and capital costs will be indicative for the stage 1 application and maybe revised if the bid is successful in reaching the next stage. Match funding of at least 5% from Wrexham County Borough Council will be required and 25 % funding from other sources. This will be achieved through a contribution from Acton Community Council and the costs of the salary of the Park Officer (from the existing Environment Department budget).
7.3 Legal - The Heritage Lottery Fund may require legal restrictions on the Council's title relating to the use of the Park to safeguard any capital funding awarded.
7.4 Staffing - If the bid is successful in passing stage 1 and stage 2, then there will be a staffing implication in the future. This is the cost of the Park Officer, which will be met from the existing Environment Department Budget.
7.5 Equalities/Diversity - Effort will be made as part of the consultation and development of the plans to ensure improvements in the park are inclusive to all sections of the community.BACKGROUND PAPERS / LOCATION / WEBSITE INFO.