Because of procurement issues and escalation in the cost of the project, the start has been delayed until the new-year and alterations are being made to downscale the plans…primarily to refurbish the Cha Café but not to enlarge it. We have been assured that the changes will not affect the quality or facilities in the hub building and paddling pools and that they will still be open for business by the summer of 2017.
We were surprised to learn that the £60,000 that we understood had been allocated to the nature reserve in the park was not actually HLF project funded. WBC has apparently ‘signed up’ to providing this sum over the years of the project. However, Matt told us that WBC would need to raise these funds! This is a concern as HMWT works on the reserve, such as improvements to water management, hide refurbishment and clearing the water cress beds have already been delayed for a number of years waiting for HLF funding. We hope to meet with WBC and HMWT in October to make some progress to overcome this disappointing discovery, which appears to reinforce the view that the WBC HLF project needs to take more than a token interest in this very special area of the park.
Peter Jenkins 29 Sep 15