Lancashire County Council welcomes funding to preserve Rivington Terraced Gardens
Lancashire County Council has welcomed the award of a £3.4million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant to the unique Rivington Terraced Gardens.
This funding means that a three year programme of work can be carried out by heritage experts to protect the buildings and the landscape.
The Rivington Heritage Trust, working with Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside, led the successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund Parks for People grant programme.
Work to conserve, repair and protect the gardens will eventually lead to buildings like the Pigeon Tower being repaired and opened to the public for supervised visits for the first time in many years.
Improved information boards, an interactive website and guided tours will also be available.
This unique Lancashire garden has been identified as one of the top ten lost gardens in the UK, and featured on the BBC Countryfile programme in November 2014.
County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: "It is great news that funding has been allocated to preserve Rivington Terraced Gardens for future generations to enjoy.
"They really were in danger of being lost, and I've worked with a colleague, County Councillor Kim Snape, for the last two years to help to secure this funding.
"It is a very special place and the grant is a victory rewarding the effort of many organisations, including the Rivington Heritage Trust and the Community Forum, who have worked together to achieve this. There is an opportunity now for more people to get involved and help to restore and protect this landmark before it is too late so that many visitors can enjoy it in the future."
Rivington Heritage Trust chairman Bryan Homan, said “This is a great result for the gardens and for the county. The Rivington Heritage Trust has been working towards this goal for over four years and it's a testament to the hard work and commitment of our partners, and the scores of volunteers who have supported the project, that we've achieved this milestone.”
Ben Williams, project manager at Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside, said: "It's been a huge privilege to lead the development of this project. We've benefited from an enormous amount of support and goodwill from the local community over the years, and we've been working closely with the West Pennine Moors partnership to make sure that we maximise the benefit of this investment to the area."
The news came as part of a £32million funding announcement for parks and cemeteries across the UK. Sara Hilton, head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said on behalf of HLF and the Big Lottery Fund: “Shrouded in drama and mystery, the Rivington Terraced Gardens are among some of the most atmospheric places to enjoy nature in the UK. Thanks to National Lottery players our investment will help save this special place from further dilapidation whilst preserving its much-loved character and opening up its important history to visitors.”
The Rivington Terraced Gardens were built on the edge of the West Pennine Moors by Lord Leverhulme in the early 20th century. They are a Grade II listed park, and 11 of the features on the site, including the Pigeon Tower and seven-arched bridge, are also listed at Grade II.
Work is expected to start in the spring of 2017, continuing through most of the year.
Activities that are part of the plan for the gardens will start this year, providing more opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in the project and help to look after the gardens.