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Lottery funding of £3.1million set to be used for improvements in Kearnsey Abbey and Russell Gardens, Dover

By Victoria Chessum

Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens will receive a £3.1million cash injection from lottery funding in a bid to restore and maintain Dover’s most favoured and rural areas.

Both the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund have vowed to help the district council in their latest plans to unlock its heritage.

Edwardian landscape architect, Thomas Mawson, will be leading the garden’s new design and will help promote it as a major attraction.

Kearsney Abbey. Picture submitted by: Dave Downey
Kearsney Abbey. Picture submitted by: Dave Downey

The Festival of Britain open air theatre in Kearsney Abbey will get an overhaul, with the hope that it will attract community event organisers to consider using the space.

The current cafe in the Abbey is going to be extended which will create a venue to support volunteering, training and education programmes.

Apprentices will also have the chance to learn about Dover’s history, in a formal education programme that will teach people about the ecology and biodiversity of the parks.

Travel and access to the parks is set to be improved and the initial aim is to raise the parks’ overall standard to obtain a Green Flag status.

Cllr Paul Watkins, leader of DDC, said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund are supporting this project.

“These parks are highly valued by local people." Paul Watkins, leader of DDC

"These parks are highly valued by local people and it’s great to know that we can now progress our plans to maintain, enhance and interpret this unique heritage alongside opportunities for the community to get involved.”

This grant is part of a wider investment of £34.5 million of Lottery money to 13 parks across the UK.

Read the full report in this week's Mercury, out on Thursday.

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