A project to create a new eco-park in Sheffield city centre has been shortlisted in a national scheme to win £120,000.
Love Square will transform a part of West Bar into a colourful community hub with meadows, lawns, a rain garden, eco-sculptures and a converted shipping container cafe.
The scheme, which is being led by The University of Sheffield, is up against projects in London, Bristol, Plymouth and a joint one in Liverpool and Manchester, to become the English flagship scheme for Grow Wild and get the money.
The Grow Wild project, which involves the Big Lottery Fund and the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, aims to inspire communities, neighbours and individuals to transform local spaces by sowing, growing and enjoying native wild flowers.
The Love Square project will draw on the expertise of Professors Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough, who were responsible for the wild flower meadows of London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
It will form the hub of another local regeneration project, Grey to Green, which will transform 1.3km of a redundant dual carriageway into a green cycle and pedestrian route. Located at Ponds Forge roundabout and Furnace Hill will be two Grow Wild hotspots, showing the way to Love Square.
Prof Dunnett, of The University of Sheffield’s School of Landscape, said: “We are very excited to be one of the five shortlisted projects for the Grow Wild national flagship site.
“Over the past 15 years we have developed a unique and well known approach to making beautiful and sustainable parks and green spaces, perhaps most famously with the wild flower meadows at the London Olympic Park, and this is a great opportunity to bring that same way of working into the very heart of Sheffield.”
The public will decide on the winning project by a vote, which will launch on October 7 and close on November 4.