An application for a large Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant has now been submitted by the Trustees of Clare Castle County Park.
The 35 acre park was formally transferred from Suffolk County Council to Clare Town Council (CTC) earlier this year, with the Trustees of Clare Country Park Trust (all volunteers) appointed to manage and develop the park on its behalf.
The bid (the result of which should be known in November) was put together following a wide range of discussions with groups and individuals in Clare.
If successful, funds will first be made available for a ‘development phase’, where specialist consultants would be employed to assess how workable and viable the ideas are that the Trust puts forward for improving the park, followed by further funds for the second phase - the carrying out of the improvements.
The entire project is expected to cost between £1.5 and £2million.
Geoffrey Bray, the chairman of the Trustees, said: “I am particularly excited by this project as our initial plans would give us the opportunity of turning the park, which has been sadly neglected in recent years, into one that, while not changing its basic nature, would make it far more interesting to visit and would link it more closely with the town.
“Since taking over the park at the end of March the efforts of the volunteers and Trustees have been focused on some neglected maintenance work in the park, putting together the HLF bid and overseeing the contractor who was appointed to restore the stationmaster’s house and carry out some essential work on the other buildings.”
The Trust has three working parties a month to discuss residents’ ideas and views.