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Friends of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park

Lottery Bid Report Archive

Newsletter 9 - November 2013

The wait continues on the Parks for People HLF application and, apart from a couple of queries from our monitoring officer, all seems to be going well. In late November, the decision makers from the HLF and the Big Lottery fund will visit the Park to gain a better understanding of our application.

Both our consultants will join us for the tour of the Park, along with representatives from the Friends group.

Newsletter 8 - Autumn 2013

There has been a huge level of community interest to get to this point:

  • Over 1,100 responses received to a questionnaire survey in January 2013
  • 25 schools consulted: over 200 children and young people gave their views
  • Over 250 people viewed the proposals for the Park at the Funday on May Day
  • A further 100 people attended other exhibitions in June
  • More than 50 people commented on the proposals online

Consultation was carried out with community groups and local organisations and the comments were used to refine the proposals. One change is to extend the front of the Pavilion, enlarging the community room. A full time Community Engagement Officer is proposed instead of two part time posts.

The other proposals are largely unchanged:

  • Improvements to the Lake and restored grottoes;
  • Wetland area: improved access and new planting with Bedgebury National Pinetum
  • Signage, entrance, path and access improvements, with a new bridge across the stream
  • Improved horticulture and woodland management and creation of community orchard
  • A new teen zone next to the existing skate park and the play area will be improved

The physical improvements will be supplemented by a five year programme of events and activities. If the bid is successful, further planning work will start in January 2014 with physical works starting in Autumn 2014 and taking up to 18 months. This is an exciting time, so let’s hope for a positive announcement before Christmas!

Adrian Spray


Newsletter 7 - Spring 2013

We are progressing well with the work on the HLF bid submission and are still on schedule for the submission date of 31st August. In April, we attended a stage C review with our monitoring and case officer, to provide them with an update of progress and get some feedback. In general, they felt we were moving in the right direction, although they asked for surety about some of the hydrology, so we still have some work to do in this area. As a reminder, the award is not guaranteed, although we do have strong support from our case officer. I’m afraid we will not know if we are successful until December, so fingers crossed for an early Christmas present!

I was impressed with the support for the Family Fun Day event on May Day and I hope those of you who attended had a look at the HLF proposals for the Park.

The work on the Dorking Road boundary wall is coming to an end and the contractors will soon leave the Park. The project was a lot more complex than we thought, with problems only coming to light once work started. I would like to take this opportunity to thank residents, visitors to the Park and allotment tenants for your patience during this long period.

Those of you who have a plot on the Hilbert allotments will be aware of the problems with the water supply. I’m afraid the old pipe has corroded beyond repair and it is now necessary to replace the entire length of pipe. Given the cost of the project, we are currently applying for funds; however, we are conscious of our tenants need for water and we will endeavour to have the supply connected as soon as possible.

Newsletter Issue 6 - Spring 2013

The Parks for People Lottery Project continues to progress well, with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and the appointed consultants team busy carrying out detailed survey work of the Park and buildings. With financial support from Heritage Lottery Fund, detailed layout (topographical) drawings of the current Park landscape and buildings have been completed. Further structural, drainage and services surveys of the pavilion and Oast House are due for completion by the end of January. A hydrological survey looking at the Upper Lake, grottoes, wetland area and all watercourses and springs in the Park has commenced and initial findings provide a much better understanding of the water systems, which will inform later design work. Other landscape condition surveys continue and are being used to establish the feasibility and detailed designs based on the Round 1 masterplan.

Alongside these works, the team has been carrying out historical research working with Dr Ian Beavis at Tunbridge Wells Museum. Historic mapping has been reviewed to establish the development of Grosvenor Recreation Ground and the later addition of Hilbert Recreation Ground. This further historical research will provide a better understanding of the current landscape and options for restoration. The team has found one historic image of Grosvenor Park, which shows the Upper Lake, although the precise date is not known. We’d like help trying to find any further historic images of the Park and any photos from the post-war period. If you can help please contact me (details below).

As well as the topographical, hydrological and historical surveys, the views of Park users and local people are very important in developing the proposals. If successful, the funding from Heritage Lottery Fund will allow physical works to be carried out to restore and enhance the Park, employ additional parks staff and provide more events and activities.

In addition to the recent questionnaire survey, the project team is also talking directly to user groups, local community groups, schools and other organisations about how the Park is currently used and how it could be used in the future. If you would like to be involved in these discussions, we’d like to hear from you.

Adrian Spray, Project Coordinator, CFP

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council are seeking the views of park users and local people about the draft proposals for the restoration and improvement of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park as part of a £2.7 million bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

TWBC has been awarded funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop detailed proposals for the future of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park and plans are now available to view and comment on. The proposals were on display at the Family Day on Monday 6 May and in the park pavilion on Thursday 9 May where staff were available to answer any questions about the proposals.

The proposals are now available here for viewing and comment until the end of May 2013.

Peter Every, TWBC Parks and Sports Team Leader said “the proposals for the park are based upon earlier public consultation, specialist survey work and detailed design and planning over the last 6 months and I am excited to be able to present the draft plans and invite park users and local residents to view these and provide feedback”.

Once feedback on the draft plans has been received the proposals will be finalised and submitted to heritage lottery fund in August 2013. The outcome of the funding bid will be announced in December 2013.

Newsletter Issue 5 - Winter 2012/3

Since the last report, a lot of work has been going on in the background to move the Heritage Lottery Fund bid forward. We explained that the next stage would be to appoint a landscape architect and a project co-ordinator to assist us with the application. In order to do this, HLF required us to obtain quotations to comply with their procurement regulations.

This has now been completed and I am pleased to announce that we have appointed Allen Scott as our Landscape Architects and Community First Partnership as our Project Co-ordinators. Many of you will know Allen Scott from the work they undertook on the first round application and we are pleased they will be working with us again, to build on the plans they have already provided. They presented a well thought out and impressive application and it was clear to us that, as a local company, they understood the park and the needs of our visitors.

Community First Partnership (CFP) bring with them a huge amount of experience in delivering HLF applications, 52 since 2001. Their Director, Ian Baggott, has acted as HLF assessor, monitor and mentor across 5 HLF regions. CFP’s principal consultant, Adrian Spray, will be working closely with us and I hope to be setting up a meeting with Adrian and the Friends committee very soon. We feel very lucky to have CFP on board and I am confident they will help us deliver a robust application next August.

Newsletter Issue 4 - August 2012

The TWBC bid for lottery funding for improvements to our Park passed an important hurdle today. By succeeding with the first round bid we now have sufficent funds to create a set of full plans. This is a substanial piece of work and will take some time and is in no way a guarantee that we will get the final grant.  So no time to rest on our Laurels, and in many ways the hard work begins now. FoGH will of course be doing all it can to support TWBC while they prepare these plans.

There is a longer report in the August Newsletter.

Newsletter Issue 3 - June 2012

The time is fast approaching when we will hear if we have been successful with our first round HLF application bid. We should hear by the 29th June and if successful, we will start work immediately on the second round application. To many this does seem a long drawn out process, with long periods of time when nothing seems to happen, but please be patient. Developing the second round application means we will start to see a more detailed plan, incorporating many of the ideas you have put forward. Unfortunately, because of the bid we are unable to make any significant changes to the park, as this may jeopardise the application.

Some of you may have noticed signs asking for visitors to control dogs in the park. We are aware that the majority of our regular dog walkers are responsible and, of course, we welcome four legged and two legged friends. Unfortunately, we have had one or two complaints about visitors who do not have control over their dogs and consequently spoiling the enjoyment of the park for others. I would ask if you see any persistent offenders to contact the Parks Team.

On a more positive note we welcome a new addition to our family of Friends, with the formation of the Friends of Calverley Grounds. With the formation of this group, we now have five groups plus two residents associations. We feel it is important for you to be in contact with each other, therefore at some point in the future we intend to hold a Friends forum, where all our groups can come together to discuss park related issues.


Newsletter Issue 2 - February 2012

As many of you will know, unfortunately we did not succeed in our first round application for Heritage Lottery Funding, due to over subscription of the scheme: our bid met the criteria overall very well, but other bids in this round met them more fully. On the plus side, we did have very positive feedback with regards to our application from our case officers: that it was of excellent quality, presentation of the plans, how we engaged the public and how well we managed the project.

On this occasion Grosvenor and Hilbert was up against very stiff competition, some of you may have seen in the news, Worth Park in Crawley was awarded £2.4 million in this round. Sadly, the local board only have a limited pot of money to distribute in the South East and although the board were keen to support our application, other areas on this occasion presented a more worthy cause than Tunbridge Wells. Moving forward, our case officers encouraged us to re-submit our application at the end of February, with some very minor adjustments. The Parks Team will be working hard over the coming weeks to make sure our application is successful; however, we do need to remember we will be up against other projects who may present a better case.

In the event we are unsuccessful with the re-submission, we will continue to proceed with the project to improve the park, adjusting the project to match the funds available from the developer contributions and to investigate other sources of funding. The Parks Team will continue to work with the Friends to achieve the goals we all have for the park and, as always, I am happy to answer your questions about the park.


Newsletter Issue 1 - November 2011

Welcome to the first update from the Parks team at the Council and what an exciting future we can expect for the park!

As most of you know, we have submitted a Heritage Lottery Bid to make improvements to the park. I know from the consultation exercise that this caused some concern, many of you fearing that we would change the character of the park. Let me put your minds at rest; it is not our intention to make major changes to the layout of the park, but to improve what we already have.

I’m afraid it will be a while before we know if the bid was successful, however I’m confident we submitted a strong bid and the feedback from HLF has been very positive. We should hear if we have succeeded in January, by which time we will have appointed a landscape architect and project manager to take us through to the second round bid and completion of the project. I’m afraid it’s a lengthy process but a necessary one. During this process, there will be further opportunities for you comment on the proposals for the park as the plans develop and I would urge you to take the time to visit the park and take a look.

We and the Friends will make sure you have plenty of warning of any future consultation.

Peter Every - Parks & Sports Team Leader TWBC

The HLF Bid Master Plan


The Outline Plan for the lottery bid


Click  to view our main lottery page or download a PDF (3Mb) of the display boards outlining the plan.

Or you can jump straight to the survey, but best to look at the plans first.

See also...
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