Cranford Park to be restored with National Lottery funding
Monday 27 July: Hillingdon Council's historic Cranford Park has been awarded £2.28 million by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund following a successful restoration bid.
At the Cabinet meeting on Thursday 23 July, the council gave its approval for the £3.47 million restoration project. The £2.28 million National Lottery funding will go towards the delivery phase of the project. The total project cost estimate is £3.47 million, with the remaining sum being funded by the council and through other sources, including contributions from local developments and the Heritage of London Trust.
The funding will help pay for essential repairs to Cranford Park's historic stables, garden walls, ha-ha and historic landscape as well as the introduction of new visitor facilities and the regeneration of the orchard, woodland and meadows.
The restoration will allow visitors to discover more about the history of Cranford Park, which is situated alongside the River Crane and which was once part of the grounds of Cranford House, the country home and hunting lodge of the Earls of Berkeley for 300 years. The work is being supported by Cranford Park Friends, who have played an important part in running events and helping with the maintenance of the park.
For the first time in its history, the huge vaulted cellars, which are all that survives of Cranford House, will be open to the public for events and exhibitions. A new cafe will be built above the cellars. Visitors will also be able to take themed walks around the Pleasure Grounds, taking in its views across the landscaped meadows.
Improvements will also be made to outdoor visitor facilities, including the addition of circular cycling and walking trails, two new play areas, an informal football pitch and a more accessible car park with electric car charging and disabled bays. There will also be renovations to St Dunstan's subway under the M4 and renovations to the three main entrances.
There are plans for an educational programme of archaeology, horticulture and orchard and river management, as well as a wide range of activities and events, displays and exhibitions, which will be overseen by a new full-time site manager and a new community engagement officer.
Cllr Jonathan Bianco, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Business Services, said: "It is wonderful to receive this vital grant to help us in our plans to preserve this much-loved and important historic site.
"We are proud of our Green Flag award-winning parks and open spaces and there is a great enthusiasm amongst the local community to restore Cranford Park and its buildings. The regeneration and new facilities will transform the area and enrich the visitor experience for generations to come."
Stuart McLeod, Director London and South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "The importance of access to and love for our parks and open spaces has become very clear over the last four months. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we're pleased to support a bright and welcoming future for Cranford Park and the communities the restoration will benefit."