Watford: Cassiobury Park Plan Approved

21 January 2014, 16:00

Proposals and designs for a £6.6m project to improve, restore and rejuvenate Cassiobury Park have been approved.

Watford Borough Council's Cabinet made the decision last night (Monday 20th January).

Watford Borough Council is bidding for a further £4,534,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG) ‘Parks for People’ programme.

 The £6.6 million project to transform the park includes:

  • A new park hub building with café, community and exhibition room, education facilities, toilets and changing facilities
  • Extending and improving the Cha Cha Cha Tea Pavilion
  • Revamped and improved Pools
  • Returning the historic bandstand to the park
  • Improved entrances to the park
  • Improved management of Whippendell Wood and the Local Nature Reserve
  • Restoration of the Lime Avenue
  • Providing a park manager, community park ranger and education officer

In June 2012, the council was successful in bidding for £418,600 of Round 1 funding from HLF/BIG to develop plans for the next stage funding bid. Since then park visitors, local residents and Cassiobury Park Friends Group have been asked their views on possible designs for the park and have played a vital role in helping to shape the final approved proposals. 

Elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill told Heart: "These are exciting plans. We have worked hard on the bid as we know Cassiobury Park is a much loved park. The first-round funding award has allowed us to develop more detailed proposals that will hopefully see Cassiobury Park up there among the very best in the country.

We now have the opportunity to make a real difference to restore parts of the historic landscape and improve the facilities. The new hub building will be a real focus for park activities, as well as providing an opportunity for visitors to discover the rich history of the park."

The Round 2 submission from Watford Borough Council will be submitted in February 2014.

Cassiobury Park is the most significant and most popular green space in Watford, and twice the size of London’s Hyde Park, forming part of a wide network of green spaces stretching from Watford town centre west towards the wider countryside. It is a landscape of significant historical interest comprising part of the former Cassiobury Estate.

Cassiobury Park has won and retained Green Flag awards. In recent years, the historic park was voted the nation’s third favourite park in the People’s Choice Award public poll.

It is estimated over one million visits are made to the park each year from local residents and from people outside the area.