Jellicoe Water Gardens wins grant in first step to major restoration

Jellicoe Water Gardens in Hemel Hempstead has been thrown a lifeline by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) with the award of a development grant to work up plans for major restoration.

The project aims to restore Hemel Hempstead’s Water Gardens to reflect their historical significance and reinstate Jellicoe’s original vision of a "city within a park". Dacorum Borough Council won development funding of £106,000 to firm up plans.

The cash will be used to apply for a full grant at a later date to smarten up the gardens, designed and built in 1962 by the foremost twentieth century architect Geoffrey Jellicoe. The Water Gardens, said the council "are starting to show their age".

Its restoration job will bring out the best in the Grade 2 listed park and garden by improving links to the rest of the town centre, restoring the gardens’ original structures including bridges and viewing platforms and replacing benches and lights.

Head of planning and regeneration councillor Terry Douris said "The importance of the Jellicoe Water Gardens to the town centre cannot be overstated. We are revitalising the centre as a destination of choice for residents, businesses and visitors.

"The Water Gardens are central to that work and restoring them will form a catalyst for the town’s wider regeneration," said Douris, working with the new Friends of the Water Gardens group, Sunnyside Rural Trust and the Hertfordshire Gardens Society.

HLF East of England head Robyn Llewellyn said: "The Water Gardens are central to the design of the New Town of Hemel Hempstead and thoroughly deserving of initial support from HLF and BIG."

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