For those interested in our visions for the future of Radipole park and gardens, the Chair of the Friends Group, Mike Goulden has been working alongside various agencies including Weymouth & Portland Borough Council on our Heritage Lottery Bid.
Certainly no mean feat as over time it has involved many hundreds of hours of work in communicating, consulting, advising, compiling and writing reports.
Mike has kindly compiled a (vastly) shortened version so that people can see exactly what’s been going on behind the scenes and what we hope to happen in the future.
Radipole Park and Gardens.Radipole Park and Gardens are being supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Heritage Lottery – Parks for People Bid
Radipole Park and Gardens in the centre of Weymouth has provided facilities to the local community for nearly a hundred years. It is easily accessible to local residents from five urban districts, including 3 recognised socially deprived areas.
The park and gardens stretch for almost a mile and the current facilities fall into four distinct areas:
- Formal gardens that have been laid out with specimen trees, colourful herbaceous plants and shrub borders with seating and picnic tables.
- Ball game areas with public tennis courts, Weymouth tennis club tournament courts, a basketball court and a multi user games area (MUGA).
- Play facilities for children up to 10yrs old and a small skate park area.
- Large playing field with goal frames, a community orchard donated by the Friends of Radipole Park and Gardens and a small wildflower meadow adjacent to the orchard.
Some parts of the park and gardens are falling into a state of disrepair, the skate park will need to be removed or replaced in the next few years and the children’s play facilities need upgrading.
Many of the general features of the park, including pathways and fencing around the ball game areas are also in a poor condition.
The large playing field now floods every year and is unusable for 7 to 8 months. It has become uneven, which makes it dangerous to use for any sporting activity.
Without major investment in a new drainage scheme it will remain unusable.
The storms of 2012 and 2014 resulted in the gardens being submerged in water for a number of weeks causing the paths, ball game area surfaces and car park surfacing to become spongy, moss ridden and dangerous.
In 2015 an independent audit report on Radipole Park & Gardens was undertaken by KMC Management Consultancy and the following recommendations were made:
- That the Council considers the use of alternative styles of play equipment as well as the necessity to constantly fence children in.
- That the repairs to the paths and car park are undertaken.
- That the Council ensures that it has policies in place to cover DDA, Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act, etc.
- That the accesses onto the road are dealt with in a safe and consistent manner
National economic events over the last decade and reductions in Local Authority budgets mean improvements that can be carried out with existing resources are very limited.
The park and gardens will continue to decline, suffer from anti-social behaviour and eventually be lost forever.
The desire to obtain funding to make improvements has been an ambition of the FRPAG for more than 10 years and was the driver for the group forming.
However, more recently this has become a priority as it is clear that as well as achieving a ‘wish list’, the bid would deliver a new vision for the park and gardens and provide a clear insight on how it would be maintained and financed into the future.
By working together, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and FRPAG hope to obtain a first round pass together with a development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to look into the feasibility of making the following improvements:
- Improve play facilities and reintroduce a water feature.
- Improve infrastructure, ie. fencing of ball game areas.
- Introduce a heritage centre/café recording a time line of the history of Radipole Park and Gardens.
- Introduce a unisex toilet to enable families to stay at the open space longer.
- Introduce interpretation throughout the site.
- Introduce a sensory garden.
- Provide additional planting throughout the site.
- Capture the hidden heritage.
- Improve biodiversity.
Funding sources for projects of this scale are very limited and the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Parks for People’ grant was identified as a potential source. A pre-application enquiry and initial meetings with the Heritage Lottery in 2015 confirmed that Radipole Park and Gardens meet its minimum criteria.
The submission for Stage 1 was made in September 2017, and in December 2017 we received the fantastic news that this application has been successful.
This was no mean feat with many hours spent by Tara Williams – Greenspace & Bereavement Services Manager (WPBC) , Yvonne Lester – Project Support Manager (WPBC) and Mike Goulden (the Friends lottery representative) estimating he has spent over a 1000hours since he submitted the pre-application working on the bid.
A project board has been established to provide the governance for the development of the project through the stages. The board members will meet on a monthly basis or at milestones, whichever is sooner, throughout the duration of the project.
The board members are:
Tara Williams – Greenspace & Bereavement Services Manager (WPBC)
Tbc – Project Manager (WPBC)
Yvonne Lester – Project Support Manager (WPBC)
Mike Goulden – Project Support Manager/Community Liaison (FRAPG)
Tbc – Parks Development Officer (WPBC)
Sue Hogben – Communications & PR (FRAPG)
Cllr Kate Wheller – Brief holder for Community Protection (WPBC)
A volunteer working group will also be formed and will ensure that the views and wishes of the public for the future of Radipole Park and Gardens link with the decisions taken by the project board.
The participants of this group will be formed from some of the members of the FRPAG committee and some of the residents who volunteered to sit on focus groups for RPAG.
If you would like any more information about the bid please contact us at
|The Project Milestones following success at stage 1||When|
|Commission Dorset Wildlife Trust to undertake an Ecological Survey and produce a Biodiversity Plan||Jan 2018|
|Advertise and appoint a lead Architect||Jan-Feb 2018|
|Advertise and appoint a Structural Engineer||Jan-Feb 2018|
|Advertise and appoint a Quantity Surveyor||Jan-Feb 2018|
|Advertise and appoint a Conservation Consultant||Jan-Feb 2018|
|Advertise and appoint a Project Manager||Jan-Mar 2018|
|Event plan to celebrate the success of Round 1 Application||Jan- Mar 2018|
|Advertise and appoint a Parks Development Officer||Feb-Apr 2018|
|Architect to submit planning application||Apr 2018|
|Project Manager to commence production of a Management & Maintenance Plan||Apr 2018|
|Parks Development Officer to commence production of an Activity Plan||May 2018|
|Develop a Fund Raising Strategy/plan for wider delivery phase partnership funding||May 2018|
|Establish a volunteer working group, hold focus meetings and take forward actions for development of how volunteers will work in the park and gardens||Jun-Jul 2018|
|Receive Architects final design specification||Aug 2018|
|Receive final Biodiversity Plan from Dorset Wildlife Trust||Aug 2018|
|Visit Page Park as part of learning exercise||Sept 2018|
|Receive final Conservation Plan from consultant||Sept 2018|
|Project Manager to produce a detailed stage 2 project timetable||Sept 2018|
|Project Manager to complete Management & Maintenance Plan||Dec 2018|
|Project Manager to produce to produce a Business Plan for the Heritage Centre/Cafe||Dec 2018|
|Project Manager to finalise the Fund Raising Strategy||Jan 2019|
|Project Manager to finalise the Business Strategy||Jan 2019|
|Project Manager & Parks Development Officer to complete Activity Plan||Feb 2019|
|Project Manager to produce an evaluation report for stage 2.||Feb 2019|
|Project Manager to finalise briefs for capital work||Feb 2019|
|Project Manager to finalise cash flow||Feb 2019|
|Review risk assessment table||Mar 2019|
|Project Manager to produce detailed cost breakdown for the stage 2 project||Mar 2019|
|Submit HLF Round 2 Application||Aug 2019|
|HLF Round 2 Decision||Dec 2019|
|Delivery Phase||Jan 2020-Dec 2021|
|(Please note all dates are estimated and liable to change)|