Lottery funding for Stanmer Park ‘wonderful opportunity’

Ian Rideout from Plumpton College, Cllr Gill Mitchell, of Brighton & Hove City Council and Trevor Beattie and South Downs National Park Authority. SUS-171001-150721001
Ian Rideout from Plumpton College, Cllr Gill Mitchell, of Brighton & Hove City Council and Trevor Beattie and South Downs National Park Authority. SUS-171001-150721001

A £3.8 million lottery grant for ‘huge improvements’ at Stanmer Park has been hailed as a ‘wonderful opportunity’ for the city.

The project for the park and estate will see around 20 hectares and the Grade II listed and other buildings restored and given new life.

The total cost of the scheme is £5.8 million and Brighton and Hove City Council is proposing to cover the remaining costs through match funding and revenue and contributions from partner organisation and donors.

For the past two years council officers have been working with representatives from Plumpton College, the South Downs National Park, and other organisations including Historic England to prepare a masterplan for the park following a £300,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Parks for People.

Speaking at last night’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee meeting (Tuesday January 17), deputy council leader Gill Mitchell said: “I really want to thank everybody – all members from all parties who worked together on the bid – as well a lot of the good work that came from officers.

“As the project progresses update reports will come to this committee.

“But I think we now stand to see some huge improvements at Stanmer and it’s a wonderful opportunity.”

The masterplan aims to improve the main entrance and 18th century parkland, walled garden, nursery, and the adjacent depot area.

This includes:

- Restoring the landscape and heritage features

- Addressing traffic and parking issues, and improving access to the park

- Relocating the council’s city parks depot

- Restoring the walled garden and surrounding area

- Delivering horticultural and heritage gardening training and food production

- Providing educational and learning opportunities

- Explaining the heritage and importance of the Estate

- A long term vision for the estate over the next 10 years.

The proposals also include reallocating car parking, creating some additional spaces, and overflow provision, to accommodate some of the extra 300,000 visitors expected each year.

The restoration project will include a variety of opportunities for volunteering and training in horticulture, heritage gardening and food production, along with facilities for learning about the heritage of the estate, historic landscape and the South Downs.

Plumpton College has agreed, in principle, to manage and maintain the walled garden on a lease from the council.