Trafford Council has won £120,000 of funding towards a “huge, multi-million pound project” to regenerate a historic hall and park in Stretford.
The famous cotton merchant Sir John Rylands – who the Rylands Library in central Manchester is named after – designed and built Longford Hall and its park grounds in 1857.
The council’s funding bid for the park to the National Lottery Heritage Fund committee was successful and the authority has now received substantial funds for its expensive project for the site and its facilities.
The council said the cash will help it develop the regeneration proposals in greater detail and it plans to make a second-stage bid for more cash from the National Lottery fund in 2021.
Plans for Longford Park include the refurbishment of the stable block, the hall itself and its Pets’ Corner, developing food growing space and areas for wildlife, providing areas for teaching and learning and other events, improvement to play and sports facilities in the grounds (which include an athletics track) and preserving the park’s heritage.
To support the bid, a draft masterplan was prepared with The Friends of Longford Park community group and others and was supported by City of Trees and consultants AECOM.
A public consultation was held earlier this year, both online and through a drop-in event as part of the bid.
Coun Liz Patel, Trafford Council’s cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “It’s great news that this funding has been awarded to Longford Park, rewarding all the effort and commitment shown by the partners involved, especially The Friends of Longford Park.
“This grant award represents a further boost for Stretford and represents our ‘green and connected’ and ‘health and wellbeing’ corporate priorities in action.
“We look forward to developing these exciting proposals in more detail with the local community and hopefully securing major, transformative investment for the park as part of the next bid.”