HISTORIC Rhyddings Park in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, has officially reopened following a £2 million makeover, 110 years after it was first gifted to the people of the town.
Newground Together, part of Together Housing Group, worked with Hyndburn Council and Friends of Rhyddings Park to secure a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund to restore the former Coach House as a new community venue and undertake a range of improvements throughout the park.
The money was also used to return the derelict walled garden to its traditional use of food growing; establish a training and volunteering programme; and develop a social enterprise, generating income for the park from meeting rooms, cafe and training kitchen. The kitchen garden provides fresh fruit and vegetables for the Coach House café.
“The park is now flourishing,” said Peter Jordan, director at Newground Together. “We have two members of staff in the new kitchen garden providing training for local people in horticulture and growing food in this restored kitchen garden.”
Hyndburn council’s mayor, Councillor June Harrison, said: “Rhyddings Park is alive with a whole host of family fun events and activities and the ever-popular Coach House café is buzzing. All this is only made possible by the hard work and dedication of the many local people who give their time and energy so freely with the ethos that’s its run by the community, for the community.”
Ann Warrington, chair of the Friends of Rhyddings Park, added: “The level of support we have received from the local community, has been absolutely amazing.”
Tiffany Hunt of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “This has been a very strong partnership project. I’m sure it’s a project which will be valued and enjoyed by the local community for many years to come.”
Main Image: Nicole and Heidi Cooper with the new bench sculpture at Rhyddings Park.