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Park loses out on £1.5m grant

Memorial Park has long been earmarked for an overhaul
Memorial Park has long been earmarked for an overhaul

The £2million makeover for Herne Bay’s Memorial Park has been shelved after an application for lottery funding came to nothing.

The city council had applied for £1.5million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which it was to top up with a £500,000 contribution of its own.

Plans for the overhaul included play areas for different age groups, seasonal gardens, refurbished tennis courts, and space for a full-size football pitch.

And at the heart of the new-look Memorial Park there was to be a Park Pavilion with cafe and community area, which alone was to cost £750,000.

But the majority of that will have to be scrapped in the wake of the failed lottery bid. In a letter to Canterbury City Council, the HLF said its latest round of Parks for People programme had been heavily oversubscribed and consequently Herne Bay had been unsuccessful.

Cllr Jenny Samper, executive member for the environment, said: “This is obviously disappointing news but we still intend to spend the £500,000 we had earmarked for this project on the Memorial Park.

“We won’t be able to do all we wanted, but there remains the opportunity to make some significant improvements, which local people have told us they want.”

The council will be going back out to consultation with local people soon to ask them what their priorities are for the Memorial Park with the £500,000.

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