The restoration of Priory Park commenced in 2012. Dudley Council secured £1.8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to undertake physical restoration, improvements, and add new facilities for the park itself, as well as to provide staff and training for both paid and volunteer workers.
The restoration covers three categories: Building and Structures (detailed below), Landscaping (detailed below) and Involving people through Discover Dudley and volunteering.
The existing Pavilion has been extended and refurbished. It now includes a multi-use room which acts as a community centre, a classroom for local schools, a changing room, a refreshment area and a training room. A courtyard to the rear of the building has also been created.
The Pavilion has public toilet facilities.
An access route has been provided to enable the Pavilion to be accessible directly from the Priory Hall car park.
The Pavilion serves as a base for the Park Ranger, and as a reception/information and interpretation centre, making it a welcoming and dynamic hub to the park.
New benches, dog bins, litter bins and signage boards have been provided. The seating is now the same as the original Park seating, first installed in 1932.
Welcoming signs have been installed at entrance points to the Park. Elsewhere, a notice board and panels have been added, to provide more information about Park features as well as forthcoming events.
The Old Shelter (near the Pond) now has a new roof.
A number of repairs and improvements have been carried out to the landscape of the park.
The paths were repaired and renovated, to create a safe and pleasant surface for park visitors. Steps throughout the park have been repairs and handrails installed.
Handrails have been provided on the steps, ramps have been added and other measures took place to make the paths more accessible.
A new statue of Dudley-born Wimbledon tennis champion Dorothy Round has been erected near to the tennis courts, close to the park entrance off Priory Road.
Decorative signs, barriers and sculptures have been built at The Broadway, Woodland Avenue, Paganel Drive (near the ruins) and Priory Road entrances to the park.
For more information about events and activities, and how to get involved in park services, please visit the main Priory Park page.
Access paths to the Priory ruins have been provided. Also, lighting has been installed to create an attractive and dramatic night-time display.
Paths were added, to improve access to the ruins. Some grass areas have been replaced with hand crafted medieval floor tiles, similar to the Priory's original floor tiles.
New trees have been planted along the central avenue that runs from the pavilion, between the tennis courts and the multi-use games area.
An new shrub planted area has been created in the park close to Priory Hall, near the roundabout junction of Priory Road and the Broadway. It consists of maples, rhododendrons and azaleas, plants which are more consistent with the parks original planting scheme.
The rose garden has been restored, to provide a focus for formal planting design in the Park.
Nearby, the pond area has received new planting.
Throughout the park, the hedges and shrubbery borders have been altered, with overgrown hedges cut back or removed where necessary. New shrubs have been planted.
A mini-soccer area has been created on the grass area just down from the children’s play area. This has a hedge and a fence, which reflects the steel fence that has been erected along one side of the restored bowling green.
A programme of activities has been developed, which will enable people to make use of the parks new and improved facilities.