Nottingham's Forest Recreation Ground reopens after £5.2m refurbishment

Nottingham Council held a community fun day over the weekend to celebrate re-opening a park after a £5.2m restoration.

Work to restore Forest Recreation Ground to its former Victorian glory took place over the past year and was paid by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), council and private donations.

The park hosted its official opening ceremony on 31 August.

Visitors learnt more about the park’s history and the restoration work during guided tours around the park, which has gained a dedicated ranger and three additional gardeners thanks to the funding boost.

Lord Mayor of Nottingham Merlita Bryan and the Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Sir John Peace officially re-opened the park and raised its first Green Flag Award, achieved last month.

The funding enabled the park’s historic entrances and some of its railing to be re-installed and paths improved. New lighting, play facilities sports pitches, planted areas and visitor information were also included.  

A key feature of the park, the pavilion has been refurbished. It now includes a cafeteria space, public toilets, changing facilities, function room and office. Nottinghamshire Police will also use the building and will patrol the park.

The Grade II listed Lodge has also been restored.

HLF East Midlands head Vanessa Harbar said: "This is a landmark milestone for Forest Recreation Ground that will encourage even more people to enjoy one of Nottingham’s much loved parks.

"Our green spaces are an incredibly important amenity for us all. Our parks, and the historic features within them, are a wonderful legacy passed through generations. We are delighted that through the hard work of so many the vision of this project has finally been realised."

The council’s portfolio holder for leisure and culture councillor Dave Trimble called the project exciting and revitalising for the local area.

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