By Sarah Booker
The Level could be transformed if Brighton & Hove City Council wins its £2.8 million bid to the Heritage Lottery’s Parks for People fund.
In July councillors approved plans to move the skate park north of the rose garden in a bid to “restore the 19th century park’s heritage features and increase the number of people who use it”, the council said in a statement.
Plans include a new interactive water feature, a café which would be open year-round and in the evenings, a sensory garden, an upgraded children’s play area and a new skatepark.
The current layout and design of The Level in the centre of Brighton dates back to the 1800s. Some of the historic structures identified for restoration include the boundary wall which dates back to 1877 and features from the 1920s such as the semicircular shelters, pergolas, columns, bridges and paved areas, the Rose Walk and dolphin lights.
The pavilions would be restored for community use. Funding has been included to help establish volunteering opportunities and for training.
In a statement from the authority, councillor Pete West, cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said: “The Level is one of the most well-used and prominent green spaces in the city and also the most in need of attention.
“Thanks to the first round of Heritage Lottery funding, we now have a plan that would see The Level not just returned to its former glory, but improved, enhanced and redesigned to meet the needs of all its users.”
There was widespread consultation carried out as part of the bid with six schools, eight community groups, nine different minority groups and 3,600 residents and park users also gave their views on how they would like the park improved.
Details of the changes to the skate park can be found on the council website at: http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1234734.
Details of the Level improvement project can be found here: http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1234596.
A decision on whether the bid is successful is expected by January 1, 2012.
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