In the last couple of months your local councilors Tim and Mary have had the opportunity to meet up twice with the Heaton Park management and development team to catch up on developments in the park.
Here is an update of current issues:
A team has been working on a revised ‘strategic vision’ for the park, looking to make the most of the park and its heritage to make it a significant attraction for a wide region, even beyond. Certainly the impression we got was that Manchester Council are giving more attention to the park, which is welcome.
A team of four are working on the implementing the strategy and over the coming months we’ll be noticing some very visible change such as new branding for the Park, a review of signage and website etc. The team are working with the many business and volunteer groups that use the park, and are also keen to develop more volunteering opportunities over time.
People will probably have noticed that work to maintain the Hall has been going on for the last year or so. Restoring the Hall and bringing it back into some form of regular use will be a very big project, and is being taken in stages as funds allow.
Nearly £1 million has been spent so far, including:
– windows repaired in central section
– essential stonework on southern side
The next phase is windows in the west wing.
The Friends of Heaton Hall (a volunteer group) has opened the Hall for tours a few times last year and then plan is to do tis on the second Sunday from the spring onwards.
A few big events coming up:
1 July 2016
Commemoration of the Battle of Somme
A national commemorative service will take place at Manchester Cathedral to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of Battle of the Somme (where 1.25 million soldiers died).
The service will be followed by a procession through Manchester to Heaton Park and will end with live performances of music, dance, and the spoken word, featuring the Halle Orchestra.
There will be an ‘Experience Area’ south of the Hall and the stage will be in the bowl area of the park for a free concert for 20,000 people.
Parklife is on 11-12 June 2016
No Friday night event this year.
There are separate meetings to brief on this event which we will report back on nearer the time.
The park is keen to provide additional attractions in the Park. A first proposal is for a tree-top adventure facility. A tender is currently being prepared for private operators to bid for. If this goes to schedule it would be opening in 2017.
People will remember that Manchester Council consulted on introducing year round pay and display parking for the park.
The park is hoping to introduce during the summer.
One of the points we made was that some of the parking facilities could be improved, particularly some of the ones nearer to St Margaret’s Road and south of the lake.
We also raised the concerns that neighbours to the park have around parking, particularly around St Margaret’s Road, Baguley Crescent and near to Heaton Park station and will continue to work with the park on this as a priority.
North Play Area
People may have noticed that the ‘tower slide’ in the north play area (near to the Hall) has been fenced off since October.
Following some structural, funding is being sought to rebuild it. Whilst this is happening work to refurbish the rest of the play area is temporarily on hold. More information to follow.
Hope this is useful. If there are points you wish us to raise or suggestions to make about the park, please let us know.