Spiralling costs of Boultham Park project put lake restoration on hold

Plans to revitalise a lake as part of a wider project to regenerate one of Lincoln’s parks have been shelved due to rising costs.

The Boultham Park Restoration Project is a £3.7 million scheme to revitalise the Grade 2 listed park, by building a café and shop, converting the old stable block into an education centre, restoring the bandstand, and improving the lighting, pathways and seating.

A key part of the project was to dredge the water from the lake, which was estimated to cost in the region of £900,000 to £1 million.

Learning disability charity Linkage Community Trust and City of Lincoln Council were awarded £2.7 million in Heritage Lottery funding to restore the 50-acre park in 2013.

Additional funding has come from the council, Linkage and other grants for the project.

But as the costs of the work have spiralled, the project team has scaled back its plans for the park to stay within budget.

Work on the lake will now be subject to a separate grant funding application.

Linkage Chief Executive Ges Roulstone said: “Boultham Park remains a vital part of our future service for people with learning disabilities in Lincoln but the project needs to be right.

“Rising costs are an inevitable part of a construction scheme so we are looking at the best use of the funding that we have.”

Revised design plans will be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in September, with a final decision expected at the end of the year.

The start of construction work will also coincide with Linkage’s 40th anniversary year in 2016.

Steve Bird, Assistant Director at City of Lincoln Council, said: “We are looking at whether elements of the regeneration can be phased and investigating the option to re-submit an application for those elements.

“This is a five-year scheme which will bring major improvements to Boultham Park, despite this most recent change.

“Nonetheless, we hope to press on with work on the ground early in the New Year.

“We are working with and consulting the park’s advisory group over any changes, and this remains an exciting time for the park and its many users.”

Meanwhile, fundraising continues through the Boultham Park Capital Appeal to generate £250,000 which will provide match-funding for the Lottery grant.