THE transformation of Wigan’s jewel-in-the-crown park has entered a major new phase.
Over the next 12 months, restoration of the historic entrance lodge will finally take place along with refurbishment of the bowling pavilion, footpaths, installation of new park furniture, signage and lighting.
Restoration of the Pulham Rockwork, installation of a replica Coalbrookdale Fountain and rejuvenation and re-bronzing of the Sir Francis Sharp Powell statue are also due to take place later this year.
This work together constitutes phase two of the mulit-million-pound town asset’s rejuvenation.
The lodge has been clad in scaffolding and a protective sheeting for more than three years while second phase Lottery funding was being secured.
Once restored the main purpose of what used to be the park keeper’s lodge will be as a park information and exhibition centre.
The Leisure and Culture Trust has also received planning permission for a 75ft sq extension for a learning centre for classes of up to 25. It will deliver a range of different horticultural programmes.
Joanne Ramdewor, Mesnes Park Officer for WLCT, said: “This is a very exciting time for the park as it enters the final phase of restoration.
“When you take into consideration all the time and planning ahead of any actual work on site then this project has been on-going for 12 years. It’s been an enormous effort by a dedicated group of people. By this time next year Mesnes Park’s magnificent restoration will be complete and ready for people to enjoy for the next 100 years.”
Work began on Phase One in 2011 and work to date has included refurbishing and restoring the pavilion, bandstand, lodge building and Dalton Steps.
A new children’s play area has also been built.
Mesnes Park’s restoration has been made possible following a £6.1m investment by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Big Lottery Fund, Wigan Council and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust.
This Sunday the park will host its first fun fair for decades. It runs from 11.30am to 5pm.