13th July 2017 – ITV Report

Wicksteed Park near Kettering is to benefit from just under £2 million of Lottery funding to help protect its heritage.

The money will go towards restoring the park’s pavilion as well as creating a heritage play area and new sculpture trail.

The intention of the ‘Play project’ is to restore the park to its former glory, thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Wicksteed Park was originally established as a safe and free park for the families and children of Kettering during the First World War.

It was one of the UK’s first leisure parks and continues to be operated by the Wicksteed Charitable Trust.

”We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has recognised the potential of Wicksteed Park and has signaled its intention to offer grant support for our project.”

”We know from our own surveys that over 90% of visitors rate the importance of the history and heritage of the Park as high or very high.”

– OLIVER WICKSTEED, CHAIRMAN OF THE WICKSTEED CHARITABLE TRUST

The improvement plans also include:

  • Conservation and capital works, including restoration of the Pavilion, Verandah walkway, and Rose Garden;
  • Returning inappropriate paths and access roads near the Pavilion to parkland and pedestrian areas;
  • Creation of a Heritage Play Area, featuring original or replica Wicksteed play equipment;
  • Delivering a Festival of Play with a national focus to celebrate play in all its forms;
  • Introduce new volunteering activities through the development of our Volunteers network and a new cohort of volunteer Park explainers and hosts to tell people about the history of the Park;
  • Run an Innovation Awards competition for inventions with a social or environmental benefit;
  • An annual programme of engaging heritage and community events diversifying audiences and animating the park’s rich cultural and social heritage;
  • Creating a sculpture trail (recreating iconic images from the park’s archives), with interactive sculpture and way markers.