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Upton Country Park receives support of Council in Heritage Lottery Fund bid

Upton Country Park’s bid application to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) award of approximately £1.8million and a requested allocation of £170,000 from Council funds for the project has been approved by Council members at a Full Council meeting on 18 July 2017.

Upton Country Park’s HLF bid application, entitled ‘The Discovery Project’, aims to further enhance the Country Park with improved facilities and to create an accessible and sustainable heritage attraction. Consisting of a number of capital activities, the project will include much needed infrastructure work and repair to historic features, as well as re-instating historic pathways and re-creating views and vistas that have been lost over time.

The creation of information displays and signposting throughout the site will also allow visitors to learn more about the natural and architectural heritage, with the project also providing new volunteering and learning opportunities for the local community.

A Heritage Lottery Fund bid application calls for additional ‘partnership’ funding from local sources. Alongside the £170,000 allocated from Council funds, £125,000 has been generously donated by the Friends of Upton Country Park, and the remaining £65,000 which is required will be raised through alternative methods, including external funding providers, corporate donations and public fundraising activities.

Kevin McErlane, Head of Culture & Community, Borough of Poole, says “We are very pleased with the news that the Council members and the Friends of Upton Country Park have both confirmed their support for partnership funding towards our Heritage Lottery Fund application. The bid process is very competitive, but if we are successful, this investment would represent fantastic value for money for Poole and ensure that Upton Country Park receives the repairs and improvements that it needs to continue to be a beautiful open space that everyone enjoys.”

Upton Country Park consists of a Grade II listed Georgian Mansion over 130 acres of land, which  is owned and managed by the Borough of Poole, since it was given through deed of gift by former owners the Llewellin family in 1957. After being unused for many years, the grounds opened to the public in May 1976 and Upton House was first shown to the public in 1981, following some restoration.

The HLF bid is a two stage process, with the first application due to be submitted at the end of August 2017. If successful in the first stage, the project will move into a year long development stage to include further planning and public engagement activities.

To find out more about Upton Country Park and the Discovery Project, please visit www.uptoncountrypark.com.

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