£2.5m improvement package planned for Central Park

A £2.5 million package of improvements designed to make Central Park even better has just been given the go-ahead, with the aim of making Plymouth’s premier park even better and delivering up to date sport and community facilities for residents 

The works will be delivered as a programme with the first two phases being delivered during 2017 to 2018.

The plans include an overall enhancement of the park environment with path and boundary improvements as well as an arboretum, new woodland and the restoration of hedgerows, better drainage throughout the park, a new café, toilets, changing rooms, improved and extended play facilities, new and improved football and rugby pitches, an artificial cricket wicket and tennis courts.

Phase one of the plans funded by £2 million of capital programme and nearly £500,000 of developer contributions will help restore the park, deliver improvements to the playing pitches and prepare for the future phases of the programme.

To deliver this phase a new team of Central Park rangers will be created specialising in a range of skills to start the much-needed renovation work to ‘tidy up’ the park.

The first renovations include repairing existing paths and boundaries, clearance of vegetation, removal and maintenance of damaged signage, repairing furniture, fixing railings, tree works and updating entrance gateways. Sensitive to the key role Central Park plays in the city’s history, updates will be in keeping with the heritage of the park.

There will also be enhancements to playing pitches, which will improve the quality of the pitches and reconfiguring the pitches to deliver three junior football pitches, one senior artificial cricket wicket and one senior rugby pitch.

Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council Councillor Patrick Nicholson said: “Central Park is the ‘green lung’ of the city and with the Council’s investment will be our premier park.

“It is a key resource for everyone especially for our citizens who are without access to their own green space and we should be proud of the facility we offer.

The Council acknowledges that more investment is required and we are keen to prioritise capital investment to help the health and wellbeing of both residents and visitors.  

We aim to deliver an outstanding public sport and recreational offer in Central Park which encourages people to use the park to live a more active lifestyle for themselves and their families.

“I will be personally reviewing comments from the public and stakeholders and urge everyone to take part in the consultation that is about to start.”   

During planning it has been identified there is a need for a new drainage infrastructure to avoid flooding within the park, as part of phase one there will be a hydrology study for the whole park to plan the best way to tackle the drainage issue during phase two.

An ecology survey will also take place to help identify the wildlife already within the park and their habitats, phase one plans detail natural improvements to encourage wildlife, including plans for an arboretum, woodland area, new hedges and wildflower meadows.

Ensuring residents have their say during this exciting initial phase is important and Council staff will be in the park during the next half term holiday asking park users for their views, consulting the public via online surveys to ensure residents get to have their say and to influence the final content of the project.