Lottery funded works underway at a Quarry Bank park
A £1.8m restoration project is underway at Stevens Park, following a successful lottery funding application from Dudley Council and partners.
The National Heritage Lottery Funding granted £1.4m last year to Dudley Council and the Friends of Stevens Park.
Cash will be used to fund the restoration and extension of Tintern House and to enable wider park improvements.
The disused building, which is formerly known as the White House, will have a community café, new toilets and meeting rooms added as part of the first phase of works by selected contractors Speller Metcalfe.
The Emily Jordan Foundation, a charity working to support people with learning disabilities, will operate from the building. It will be developing horticultural training opportunities, a bike recycling workshop as well as other opportunities to support people with learning disabilities to move closer towards work.
Park improvements including heritage interpretation, new access to the Memorial garden, new footpaths and planting will follow in the New Year and it is expected that a community development officer will be appointed in the future to deliver a range of activities and events.
Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for public realm, said:
Dudley Council is committed to preserving and maintaining our parks and green spaces and the pandemic has highlighted just how vital they are to our collective wellbeing.
We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Emily Jordan Foundation and The Friends of Stevens Park to make these fantastic improvements to the park. The new use of the former White House building will have huge benefits to people with learning disabilities.
Chris Jordan, Chair of the Trustees of The Emily Jordan Foundation, said:
We are all looking forward to opening our service provision at Stevens Park, to offer people with Learning Disabilities in the local area different work-based projects, that support them to learn new skills, working to their own ability levels.
Our aim is the same as within our Kidderminster Service, to support people with learning disabilities to lead fulfilled lives.
David Sparks, chair of the Friends of Stevens Park, said:
In 1921 Ernest Stevens gave the land to the council to develop the Park. In 2021 we will see the biggest improvement to the Park in those 100 years - a century at the centre of the community.
The Friends of Stevens Park is made up of volunteers in the local community. People can find out more on how to get involved at https://www.facebook.com/parkquarrybank/
The Emily Jordan Foundation is also looking for volunteers to support its work. People who are interested can apply to firstname.lastname@example.org