Greenhead park renewal boosts visitors

Gillespies blends old and new features in its restoration of a grade II listed park in Huddersfield.

Landscape architects who balanced old with new for the recent restoration of a 127-year-old park helped increase visitor numbers by tens of thousands.

Gillespies renewed sweeping landscapes, an ornate glasshouse, a bandstand, a lakeside arbour, gate pillars and fountains at Greenhead Park in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Conservation work included renewing a Victorian bridge.

Restoration of the 7ha grade II park took four years and cost £3.75m. A Heritage Lottery Fund grant and finance from Kirklees Council pulled the project together.

The park reopened in late summer but was officially completed last week. Manager Robert Whittaker said since completion the park had attracted around 300,000 visitors, a 50,000 rise on pre-restoration levels.

Gillespies associate Warren Chapman said: "We wanted to retain the legacy of the past while appealing to today's visitor. While keeping the historic layout largely intact, we had to recreate Greenhead's largest lake."

Original features such as a main avenue and formal bedding displays were improved, while a cafe extension was added to the restored conservatory, Chapman added.

"Work involved restoring perimeter railings and gates, tree replacements, rejuvenation of ornamental planting beds, extensive path repairs and resurfacing."

Manager's view

"Gillespies was successful in the design and implementation of the restoration. It proved adept at interpreting the heritage requirements of the park and maintaining the overwhelming popularity of the site."

Robert Whittaker, manager, Greenhead Park, Kirklees Council

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