Gunnersbury Park’s historic buildings and beautiful grounds are being brought to life, thanks to a multi-million pound restoration programme funded by Ealing and Hounslow Councils, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Heritage England.
As the ambitious Gunnersbury Regeneration Project nears completion, Leader of Ealing Council, Julian Bell joined Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Hounslow Council’s cabinet member for green policy and leisure at the much-loved local park for a tour of the restored site today (15 March) to get a first-hand experience of its progress to date and potential.
The project has seen significant work carried out on the museum and other listed structures which will allow local people to benefit from the park’s rich heritage.
The Grade II listed Large Mansion has undertaken improvement works that will deliver a much improved Museum for the two boroughs, opening this summer. Featuring a number of galleries, the Museum will provide a brilliant source of local history for residents and visitors to the borough as well as serving as a valuable source of learning for schools.
Restoration of the well-known heritage structures dotted across the parkland has taken place, with work carried out on the Orangery, Temple, Bathhouse and Gothic ruins and the Round Pond. The Horshoe Lake has also been reinstated. The grounds have also benefited from the appointment of a head gardener to maintain and manage the park’s landscapes and horticulture.
A brand new café is now open and welcoming visitors.
The Gunnersbury Regeneration Project will also see one of the largest outdoor sporting facilities in London open to the public in spring 2019.
The £13.9 million sports hub is entering the next phase of its development which when complete, will boast a multi-use sports centre and gym, two external floodlit artificial grass pitches, tennis courts, cricket and football pitches – all in place for residents and students to make the most of.
Councillor Julian Bell said: “A great deal of work has gone into the painstaking restoration of Gunnersbury Park’s buildings, grounds and landscape and with the project’s completion in sight we are seeing its rich heritage spring to life. This ambitious, multi-million pound project is bringing the park’s past and future together with state-of-the-art sports facilities alongside its historically significant buildings.
“Our long term vision with Hounslow Council will see Gunnersbury Park as a place where local people can enjoy sport, beautiful green spaces and a rich local history long into the future.”
Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Hounslow Council’s Cabinet Member for Green Policy and Leisure said: “It’s a real pleasure to see the high quality restoration phase complete for Gunnersbury Park’s magnificent buildings, which will ensure that the area’s rich history can be enjoyed by all for generations to come. It’s also great to see that the development of the sports hub is well underway and along with confirmation that we will play host to the Lovebox and Citadel Festivals this summer, this is a very exciting era for Gunnersbury Park.”
The site will continue to be owned jointly by Hounslow and Ealing councils but from next month, the not-for-profit Gunnersbury Community Interest Company (CIC) will take over the day-to-day operations and oversee the park’s educational, leisure and cultural opportunities. Under the CIC, Gunnersbury Park and Museum will remain free to the public.
Gunnersbury Park will also be the place to be this summer for live music after Ealing and Hounslow councils reached an agreement with Festival Republic to host the annual Lovebox and Citadel Festivals at the site.