25th Sep, 2018

£1.7m lottery bid to be lodged to restore historic Coventry cemetery

Felix Nobes 6th Feb, 2018 Updated: 7th Feb, 2018

A £1.7million lottery bid to restore a historic Coventry cemetery is set to be lodged.

The application for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to restore the London Road cemetery is set to be approved by Coventry council next Tuesday.

If approved, the application will be submitted to the Lottery’s ‘Parks for People’ scheme on February 28.

Cabinet also wants to approve the use of around £212,000 of tax-payers money in addition to the lottery grant.

A plan has been developed for the restoration of the Sir Joseph Paxton designed Arboretum Cemetery, council say.

The cemetery is a Grade one listed historic park and is one of the top five historic cemeteries in the UK.

Coventry council’s cabinet member for city services, councillor Jayne Innes, said: “The restoration of London Road Cemetery has been planned for a long time, and I’m so excited to see the project on the cusp of transforming the cemetery.

“It really is one of the city’s hidden gems, and I can’t wait to see what it can become once some of its best assets have been restored and made more accessible to local people and visitors.

She added: “The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable our partnership team to deliver on the fantastic plans for the space, including opening up the chapels, restoring some of the special monuments and making sure that we are delivering the original vision of its famous designer, Joseph Paxton.”

The council say the project will be delivered in two phases to reinstate elements of the original landscape design.

It is hoped it will include the repair of major features like the Promenade and a number of grave monuments.

The project has been devised in partnership with the Historic Coventry Trust.

The trust is a charity dedicated to reclaiming, restoring and enhancing Coventry’s heritage sites.

Council will give the go-ahead the stage two application which is the delivery phase for the project.

The council say the project will include “community engagement, educational activities and increased volunteer activities” to improve future maintenance.

Coun Innes continued: “Sites like this can play an important role in regeneration so it’s great news that we will be able to invest in a wide range of improvements.

“The cemetery is much loved by local people, it’s a real asset and if we can get this investment it has a really exciting future.”

If the application is successful, Heritage Lottery will make an award to the partnership of £1,692,200 this June, enabling restoration works to commence and phase one of the scheme to be delivered.

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