Contract awarded for £5.1 million restoration of Stanmer Park

Work is due to start next week on the £5.1 million restoration of Stanmer Park in Brighton.

Stanmer Park Great Woods from the air. Image: Dominic Alves /Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

Brighton and Hove Council has awarded the contract for the work to revive The Humphry Repton-designed 18th century landscape and historical features including the Grade II Frankland Monument to Buxton Building Contractors in what is expected to be an 18-month project.

LUC worked on the project as landscape architects.

Part of the scheme involves the transformation of the Walled Garden, the council’s former ornamentals nursery, which the council is leasing to Plumpton College. This will be used as a training garden for land-based students and also as a free visitor attraction for the public.

Landscape architect Dominic Cole has designed a horticultural and therapeutic garden which showcases traditional fruit and vegetable production and has a series of themed gardens showing plants that can be grown in difficult urban conditions. Other areas show how small gardens can also be productive and the plants used for treating illnesses.

Plumpton College will also run a farm shop, plant sales and a new cafe/restaurant supplied from the garden and Plympton's farm and vineyard.

The work will see more than 250 trees planted, create a new car park and new shared pedestrian/cycle path and create a 10-year management vision for the park including an estate-wide Woodland Management Plan with a dedicated onsite team to deliver it.

The 485 hectare park, Brighton’s largest, will also get a new welcome and information centre at the Lower Lodges with refreshments, public toilets and bike hire.

The council was awarded £3.8m towards the total £5.1m cost of the project by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and BIG Lottery Fund in January 2017.

Buxton Building Contractors business development director Pauline Warnes said: "We are delighted to be working with Brighton & Hove City Council on the enhancement of this prestigious historic park and ancillary buildings."

Chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee councillor Anne Pissaridou said: "The community has been involved with Stanmer for many years and this project will build on their valuable work to protect and celebrate this precious green space asset, while hundreds of new education, volunteering and learning opportunities and activities will enhance everyone’s enjoyment of the park for generations to come."

The Walled Garden is part of a new campus for Plumpton College. Deputy principal James Hibbert said the college looked forward to  opportunities the Walled Garden would provide to showcase and teach horticultural excellence to students on the doorstep of Brighton.

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