Croydon Council has won £200k to develop a bid for £1.7m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to significantly upgrade Ashburton Park, in Addiscombe ahead of its 100th anniversary – including the restoration of Ashburton Park Lodge. The development grant will enable Croydon to work up more detailed proposals for the park before bidding for the remaining £1.7 million sum. The bid was developed in partnership with key community volunteers, providing invaluable local perspective and support.
The estate mansion built in 1788 has been demolished, but the original keepers lodge still remains. Following proposals developed in partnership with the charity Oasis, the site will be restored and turned into a youth centre, run by Oasis. The renewed youth centre will be a safe space for 8-to-19-year-olds and provide a range of opportunities for young people in the local community, as well as practical help and support for parents and carers.
Steve Chalke, Founder of Oasis said: “Oasis is delighted to have been chosen as the agreed partner with Croydon Council for the ‘100 Year of Ashburton Park’ National Lottery Heritage Fund bid. We are really excited to be developing this new community space which will provide somewhere safe and nurturing for young people to thrive, flourish, and to explore their ideas and aspirations.
“I’m delighted that that youth work is being recognised as a key part of the plan for the park, and that young people will play such an important role in the park’s redevelopment.”
Among other opportunities being explored is restoration of the park’s severely degraded 1920’s tea kiosk to provide opportunities for people to meet and learn. The council is also proposing to implement natural solutions to flooding that has been known to happen in the east of the park, creating new opportunities for wildlife to flourish, and for people to engage with nature. Surveying and development are set to begin in the next few months, with works planned to take place next year.
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon said: “I am delighted to hear the news that our bid to improve Ashburton Park has reached this pivotal stage. We know how much this park means to the local community, and I’m encouraged by the early plans that will benefit both the environment and young people in the area.
“Our residents are really passionate about their local parks and green spaces, and it was especially great to hear that we were able to put forward such a strong bid for these funds with the help of engaged members of the community.”
Stuart McLeod, Director of England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve been able to offer our initial support to help revitalise Ashburton Park as it approaches its 100th anniversary. The park is a haven for the communities of Croydon, and we are pleased that their plans will look at strengthening the community’s connection to nature, as well as providing a wonderful new space for the young people of the borough. We look forward to working with the team to develop their application to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date.”