Friday, December 7, 2012

News: Clifton Park restoration "a benchmark of excellence"


The restoration of Clifton Park in Rotherham has been recognised at the UK's most prestigious landscape awards ceremony.

The £7.5m project, led by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, was the winner in the Heritage and Conservation category at the recent Landscape Institute Awards 2012.

The Landscape Institute is the Royal Chartered body for landscape architects and the awards are presented to encourage and recognise outstanding examples of the work of the landscape profession.

Rotherham's premier park, located on the edge of the town centre, was restored with support from a £4.5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund through their "Parks for People" programme. Work completed in 2010 includes the new water play area, refurbished bandstand, memorial garden and rock garden. A new skatepark, bowls pavilion, space for rangers and gardeners, toilets, and a multi-purpose room for events and activities were also provided.

Landscape architects, LDA Design worked with a large multidisciplinary team to restore a park that had been in decline for decades. Following comprehensive historical research coupled with extensive public consultation, it has restored historic features while introducing new elements to provide the facilities that are wanted in parks today.

It has paid close attention to interpretation and has addressed sustainability in a thorough-going and imaginative way, including using timber from trees that were felled within new buildings.
The judges commented: "The project clearly demonstrates the benefit of having the continuity of the lead consultant through the life of the project, from the absolute beginning to the final completion.

"The understanding of the historic development of the landscape is clearly demonstrated in the decisions to innovate in critical elements of the scheme that make it relevant to contemporary uses and its community.

"This is a scheme that stands as a benchmark of excellence in its field."

Phil Gill, Leisure and Green Spaces Manager for the authority, who received the award at a ceremony in London, said: "We are extremely proud and delighted to have won this award. Park users had already told us how much they like the improvements, but it is wonderful to have received this formal acknowledgement of the vision, skill and sheer hard work of everyone involved."

The project was not without its problems, the lead construction contractors, UCS Civils, went into administration during the redevelopment. Local builders George Hurst and Sons Ltd were appointed to complete the building and associated Walled Garden and Courtyard.

LDA Design were involved in two winning projects and highly commended in three other categories at the awards. Neil Mattinson, Senior Partner at LDA Design, said: "We are delighted to have been recognised by these awards. This has been a momentous year for the practice."

Clifton Park website

Images: RMBC


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