Wharton Park in Durham will be restored to its previous Victorian glory by virtue of GBP 2,45 million Lottery Fund grant.
The renovation plan includes new heritage centre, cafe and outdoor fitness equipment, as well as upgrading of the park’s amphitheatre, paths, miniature car track, signs and entrances. The reconstruction will most probably start in the following months.
Ivor Crowther, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, commented on this generous gambling news: “This investment will help unlock the potential of Wharton Park so it can be restored and opened up for people to enjoy.”
The park has long and impressive history
Wharton Park, 4.3-hectare, is one of the oldest in this area. It was opened for visitors by W.L. Wharton in 1858 as the People’s Park and it hosted the first Durham Miners’ Gala in 1871.
Interestingly, John Ruskin, 19th century philosopher, described its spectacular views of Durham Cathedral as the eighth wonder of the world.
Unfortunately, over the years it became forgotten and not sustained. Now, thanks to the UK gambling laws, that allow big grants, the lottery donation will help the park blossom again.
In addition, the restoration of the park will also create new jobs, internships, and there is also events’ calendar that is planned. The project involves a lot of participants like the Council, Durham Area Action Partnership, Durham Agency Against Crime, etc.