This Portsmouth park could benefit from a cash boost of up to £2.5m
A PARK 'in the heart of the city' could benefit from a cash boost of almost £2.5m that would see historic features restored and new facilities built.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded Portsmouth City Council £251,000 to develop plans to 'revive' Victoria Park in the city centre.
A further grant of £2,050,800 will then be sought from the National Lottery to carry out the designs.
The council's culture and city development, Councillor Steve Pitt, welcomed the opportunity for regeneration. He said: 'Victoria Park is a much loved and used feature in the heart of the city. It's a space where families, residents, students and workers alike relax and take time out.
'The health and wellbeing benefits of green spaces in urban environments are well known and this funding will allow us to preserve and promote Victoria Park so that future generations can continue to appreciate and enjoy it.'
If the second grant is successful it is planned the park's historic design will be restored and improvements to facilities including toilets, paths and seating areas will be made.
Plans are also in the pipeline for new classroom space to deliver learning opportunities for children with special educational needs and disabilities, as well as a wider health and wellbeing programme for schools.
And it is hoped further volunteering opportunities and community heritage days, such as an illuminated fete, ecology days and volunteer research projects, will be created as a result.
Cllr Pitt explained how it was part of wider regeneration for Portsmouth.
'This project will link brilliantly with the fantastic improvements which are continuing to the spaces around the war memorial and the council's aspirations for the wider regeneration of the city centre, via our joint venture with DeLancey and our bid for Future High Streets funding,' he added.
A further £75,000 has been pledged by Portsmouth City Council to top up the £251,000 from the National Lottery.
It is planned the bid for the second round of funding will be made in 18 months.