£1.3m Christmas Lottery gift for Runcorn park

A RUNCORN park has hit the Christmas jackpot after winning £1.3 million of Lottery cash.

Runcorn Hill and Heath Park is one of only nine parks in England to be rejuvenated through the ‘Parks for People Project.

New visitor facilities including toilets, refreshments and community spaces will be created.

The industrial heritage of the park will be explored as people will be able to learn about its history, including the former rock quarry.

Ron Hignett, Halton Council’s board member for environment said: “I am very pleased that the Runcorn Hill and Heath project will conserve, restore and develop the diverse historic elements of the park, and provide new and improved visitor facilities.

"The project will also focus on the park's unique industrial and social heritage, encouraging new interest in the park from a wider audience across a broader catchment area, and revitalizing this valuable asset for future generations.”

The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund will preserve the park’s 32 hectares of natural landscapes, boating lake and formal grounds.

The project will cover a five-year programme of infrastructure improvements, education activities, events and community participation.

It will fund two posts dedicated to the project, a community enablement officer and conservation partnerships officer.

Carole Souter, chief Executive of Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing a bit of seasonal cheer to a number of popular parks, including Runcorn Hill and Heath Park, especially as demand for funding continues to be very high.

"It’s been a tough year for those caring for our public parks but our commitment to this important part of the UK’s heritage is unwavering.”

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