Park gets £2.5m boost to aid restoration work

Artists impression: How Bentley Park and its pavilion is expected to look at the end of the project which should restore it to its former glories.
Artists impression: How Bentley Park and its pavilion is expected to look at the end of the project which should restore it to its former glories.
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LOTTERY bosses have announced a £2.5 million cash boost for the restoration of Bentley Park and its pavilion.

Work on the project is expected to start by autumn 2012 and will see a range of improvements made so the local and wider community can use and enjoy the park.

The pavilion will benefit from a complete overhaul that offers better access, new catering facilities, a veranda and an area for outdoor events.

The park entrances will be improved, the railings and gates renovated, footpaths upgraded and new gardens created including a water fountain.

There will be new seating areas, better lighting across the park and a new bandstand for outdoor performances.

All the new facilities should be complete and open by the end of 2013.

The park opened in 1923 and the pavilion opened eight years later in 1931. The development was primarily funded by the Bentley Miners’ Welfare Fund and designed to be a venue for entertainment, sport and play for Bentley residents set within attractive gardens.

Facilities included a bandstand, tennis courts, bowling greens, sandpits and a children’s play area.

Parts of these features remain today but they have been described as being in a poor and sometimes unusable condition.

Fiona Spiers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Bentley Park is an important green space in the heart of Bentley and has played a key role in the lives of local residents for over 80 years.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to be supporting this project that will transform Bentley Park into a place that even more people can use and enjoy.”

Coun Charlie Hogarth, who represents Bentley on Doncaster Council, said: “It is a great honour for the Bentley area and Doncaster that the Heritage Lottery Fund has recognised the benefits these improvements to Bentley Park and Pavilion will bring to the residents of Bentley and the surrounding area. It is a credit to all persons involved in this successful bid.

“Things are already starting to happen in Bentley with the building of the myplace youth facility well on its way.”