Multi-million pound plans to transform Boultham Park in Lincoln with an education centre, cafe, horticulture centre and other attractions depend on the allocation of vital grant funding this month.
The plans to revitalise the 50-acre park await a £2.7 million funding go-ahead from Heritage Lottery Fund, which the body first awarded in principle to the scheme in 2013.
Rising costs and changed to the plans meant that partners had to resubmit their bid.
Should the HLF board approve the funding at its meeting on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, the restoration contract would be awarded in July and work would start on site as early as August.
If rejected, efforts will need to be made to salvage the restoration scheme and donations towards it may need to be returned.
The Boultham Park Restoration Project is led by learning disability charity Linkage, in partnership with the City of Lincoln Council.
Partners hope 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.
The Boultham Park Capital Appeal has a target of £250,000 to match-fund the lottery grant and it has now topped the milestone £100,000 mark.
Money has also been raised through a number of sponsors including the city council, fundraisers and charity events including those organised by the Rotary Club of Lincoln Colonia like the Lincoln Flume.
Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager at City of Lincoln Council, said: “Once funding was confirmed we would instruct the main contractor and hope to start on site in August.
“In the event of not receiving the funding Linkage and the council would take time as a partnership to consider our options.
“There has already been some progress on the lake and this work would continue. We would also look to maintain the excellent volunteering activity that is benefitting the park and continue to encourage community events.
“In terms of the money already raised, where appropriate this would be earmarked for future improvements at Boultham Park. Where funding was donated for a specific element of the project, if that was no longer happening this would be returned.”
Linkage is looking at possible alternative means of providing further education courses in a different location in Lincoln for its clients with learning disabilities.
High hopes for lake clean-up
Now, a sub committee of the Boultham Park advisory group is raising extra funds to dredge the lake.
Andy Malt, 56, from Lincoln, who is a member of the group, said: “The lake desperately need de-silting to improve safety and water quality. As reported the costs have been mounting and mounting after the project was initially awarded the funding and the lake had to be taken off the proposal.
“I believe the lake is the making of the park and I have personally been doing my best to raise funds from major companies who can either donate cash or materials, tools or equipment to help us.
“A fundraising page for this is in the pipeline. Anyone wishing to get involved or donate can contact me on 01522 800974.”