Plans for a new £1.2m heritage and cultural visitors centre at Gedling Country Park have today been released.
The proposals by Gedling Borough Council for the centre will incorporate the park’s mining history alongside a modern café and outdoor seating area.
Local residents have been having their say on what they would like to see in the proposed centre. 500 of the 615 total consultation responses asked for an outdoor seating area and several hundred people said they would like to see educational displays of the mining heritage in the centre.
The design for the centre was inspired by work undertaken by students from Nottingham Trent University, who worked with the Leader of the Council, Councillor John Clarke and the council’s Parks Team on potential design ideas earlier in the year. The final design was produced by Allan Joyce Architects.
The centre developments coincide with the start of the build of the new £120,000 children’s play area in the park which began earlier this month.
The new play area, designed by Proludic, will incorporate the park’s mining heritage with a rustic mining tower, mining train and ‘old pit’ grasslands ensuring the history of the park is remembered for years to come.
The park is being part-funded by the council who are providing £70,000 alongside a grant from WREN’S FCC Community Action Fund, who will provide £50,000 after a successful bid for funding by the Friends of Gedling Country Park group.
WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, conservation and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Plans to build a memorial sensory garden to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the closure of the pit are also underway. The Friends of Gedling Country Park group have been working with the council on designs for the garden and plans will be announced in the upcoming few months.
Terry Lock, Chair of the Friends of Gedling Country Park said: “We are delighted with the plans. It’s the next step in a long term plan for the park. We are chuffed with the designs and we are committed to working together with everyone up there to make the park even more enjoyable for the families that use it.”
Adam Dickerson, Sales Manager for Proludic, who are building the play area said:“Gedling Country Park play space is a project Proludic is extremely excited about delivering for Gedling Borough Council. As a local manufacturer we are pleased to deliver this bespoke mining and nature themed play space that will excite children and provide an insight to the heritage of the Country Park.”
Leader of the Council, Councillor John Clarke said: “This is a great step forward for the development of the country park and we’re delighted to be submitting the plans for the heritage and cultural visitors’ centre. We’ve had huge response from the consultation and we’ve taken people’s views into account when drawing up the centre. We are very proud to be investing in the park and should it be approved it will ensure that the history and heritage of this former coal mine will live on through the park for many years.”