Historic Warwick gardens’ project gets funding boost

Left to right: Hill Close Gardens (by Google Street View), top left: what the project area looks like now, bottom right: what the area could look like once the project is complete.
Left to right: Hill Close Gardens (by Google Street View), top left: what the project area looks like now, bottom right: what the area could look like once the project is complete.

A grant for £78,000 has been awarded to the trustees of a historic Warwick gardens to help them ‘transform the visitor experience’.

The trustees of Hill Close Gardens Trust were given the grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project will cost £167,744 and the trustees are grateful to Warwick District Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Warwick Town Council, and the Warwick Society for partnership funding.

Trust members have also pledged more than £15,000 to support the project.

The “Transforming the Visitor Experience” project will see the construction of a new visitors’ room built on to the visitor centre, which will be named the Bleasdale Room in memory of Professor John Bleasdale, the trust’s founder chairman. This is expected to be completed by Summer 2019.

Money will also be spend on interpretation to help everyone to enjoy the gardens and a part-time ‘community engagement worker’ will be employed for two years to help draw in new members, volunteers and visitors.

Rosemary Mitchell, trustee, said: “This long-awaited development will secure the future of our gardens by giving all our visitors and members their own dedicated space, comfortable, informative and entertaining. At present they share our Lammas Room with other users.

"The Lammas Room is increasingly popular for business use, as well as for community groups and family events. It has become Warwick’s Village Hall, and will now be even more available for such use.

"Revenue from its users plays a significant role in maintaining and developing our Gardens.

"We will do our utmost to ensure that the construction works cause minimal disruption to our visitors and neighbours."