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Kennington Flower Garden to return to former glory

Kennington Park flower garden will be brought back to its former glory with a half a million pound makeover.

Lambeth Council and Friends of Kennington Park have secured a £374,600 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and provided further contributions to carry out the works costing nearly £500,000.

A new programme of activities will also be put in place to get more people using the park and visiting the gardens.

Cllr Sally Prentice, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “This is wonderful news for Kennington Park and I cannot wait to see the flower garden in full bloom.

“The council and the Friends of Kennington Park have worked hard to secure the grant and put in place a really bright future for the park.

“We’re grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and I’m sure they’ll be just as excited as us to see this money being put to good use.”

First designed in an old English garden style and opened in 1931, the tranquil quality of the Flower Garden will now be revitalised, improving access for the whole community.

Works will include relaying paths, removal of overgrown shrubs and planting, reconstructing a garden pond, repairs to pergolas and other structures, replanting throughout and the introduction of a new sun dial feature – paid for by the Friends and designed by the City and Guilds Art School.

The on-site works for the project are expected to start in November 2014 and be completed by early summer 2015.

Peter Whittingham, of the Friends of Kennington Park, said: “The Friends are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for this wonderful opportunity to make a difference to the quality of life of more people in and around the Park.

“It really is wonderful and will be a time of great excitement when the Garden re-opens.  There’s a lot to look forward to and I hope the people of London come and join us.”

In addition to the physical works, an Activity Plan under the banner “Blooming Together,” will engage with local residents and park users and work to improve the social and community activities associated with the Flower Garden.

Sue Bowers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “This project will recreate the delightful character of this ornamental flower garden in one of the foremost parks in south London.

“By so doing it will reinforce the sentiments of those who opened the flower garden for the first time in 1931 with the wish that it should be dedicated ‘to the use of the public forever’.”

Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey said: “I am so pleased to hear this good news. Many local people have helped to make this happen.

“In particular I congratulate the Friends of Kennington Park for taking this initiative and Lambeth Council for supporting it wholeheartedly.”

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