Report of the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste (HIW/22/8) seeking approval of a funding bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for restoring Stover Park, attached.
An Impact Assessment is also attached for the attention of Members at the meeting but is also available at Stover Park Restoration - Impact Assessment (devon.gov.uk).
(a) that the submission of the Delivery Phase grant bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund be approved;
(b) that the submission of associated grant funding bids to National Highways, and other relevant grant aiding bodies also be approved; and
(c) that the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste be given delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, to make minor changes if necessary to the bids.
(Councillors Brazil and Hannaford attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste (HIW/22/8) seeking approval of a funding bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for restoring Stover Park. The Report had been circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.
The Council had been leading an ambitious project that aimed to revitalise and enhance the biodiversity, historic landscape, and recreational value of Stover Park. The Park was of national importance, as recognised by inclusion on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England (Grade II) as well as individual features such as the granite gatehouse/lodge listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 for their special architectural or historic interest.
The report listed all the current features of the park for recreation and public enjoyment such as the Interpretation Centre (visitor centre, classroom, rangers’ office, and public toilets (open 8 am to 5 pm) and other recreational resources such as interpretation boards, an aerial walkway, a bird hide, walking routes, a car park, and picnic areas.
In developing the capital elements of the project, the Council had engaged with a variety of stakeholders and partners and the Development Phase had included a substantial programme of research, feasibility, design, and costings which has identified priorities for action.
The plans for community engagement had six key focuses which included ecology and the environment, knowledge of climate change and sustainability, understanding nature and heritage, promoting volunteering and community, enabling learning and skills and nurturing Health and Wellbeing.
The Report highlighted that the Council had previously been awarded a Development Grant (£341,300) from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) which had enabled work to be carried out to develop proposals to restore and enhance Stover Park and in accordance with NLHF procedures, the Council would soon be eligible to submit a Delivery Phase grant application to implement the developed proposals. It was hoped that the grant application could be submitted in May 2022, with a decision expected in September 2022 and subject to successful awards of grant, the Delivery Phase would run for 3 years until September 2025.
Following the project development work, priorities had been established for the proposed Delivery Phase and actions were focused on Lake Restoration, Historic Landscape and Buildings (related images included in Annex A), upgrading and extending the Discovery Centre, improved visitor welcome and enjoyment (car park layout, improved accessibility and connectivity) and activities (community engagement targeting existing visitors and under-represented audiences).
All of the actions would directly contribute to the delivery of priorities as set out within the Devon County Council Plan 2021 – 2025.
Costs estimates were being finalised as part of the current Development Phase, alongside identifying all the partnership funding. However, estimated expenditure and income (NLHF, National Highways, Devon County Council, ... view the full minutes text for item 125