Capita chosen to manage restoration of Welsh park

A £1.4m restoration of a historic public park in South Wales has come a step closer after the appointment of Capita Symonds as project manager.

Capita Symonds' Cardiff office has been appointed by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to provide project management, landscape design, architectural and engineering services to secure Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) cash for the revamp of Neath's Victoria Gardens.

The HLF is funding the Stage 2 submission for £158,000 and if the grant application is successful, Capita Symonds will then project- manage the restoration works on site. The project follows the team's recent work for the council on the restoration of the historic gardens at nearby 344ha Margam Country Park.

Victoria Gardens were originally laid out in 1897/98 to celebrate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee, and retain a number of original features including a Grade II-listed bandstand.

A Gorsedd circle - a stone circle used in druidic ceremonies - also features in the park, along with a Grade II-listed pedestal and bronze statue of Howell Gwyn, a prominent local businessman and benefactor.

The Victorian ornamental tree planting, lawns and formal bedding displays also remain as one of the gardens' main attractions.

Ford said: "The project will restore the historical features of the gardens to their original glory, providing a recreational asset for the local community and future generations."

Work will include the restoration of the bandstand and Victorian drinking fountain, provision of a new visitor facility and maintenance building, and the replacement of the park's missing railings, which were originally taken away in the 1940s as part of the war effort.

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