All hands to the pump for gardens restoration project

Leamington’s main bandstand will be restored to its former Regency glory if funding is won for the project to revamp the Pump Room Gardens.
Archie Pitts (Chairman of The Friends of the Pump Room Gardens) shows the plans to Chris White M.P. with David Anderson (W.D.C.) and Stephen Cross (Cultural Portfolio Holder) looking on.
MHLC-23-07-13 Gardens Jul 178Archie Pitts (Chairman of The Friends of the Pump Room Gardens) shows the plans to Chris White M.P. with David Anderson (W.D.C.) and Stephen Cross (Cultural Portfolio Holder) looking on.
MHLC-23-07-13 Gardens Jul 178
Archie Pitts (Chairman of The Friends of the Pump Room Gardens) shows the plans to Chris White M.P. with David Anderson (W.D.C.) and Stephen Cross (Cultural Portfolio Holder) looking on. MHLC-23-07-13 Gardens Jul 178

The £1 million proposed scheme, announced last month, is being put forward by the Friends of the Pump Room Gardens group in partnership with Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council.

District councillors have given approval for the authority to contribute £100,000 to the Project, with the friends having already raised £20,000 towards a goal of £50,000 to gain the ‘match funding’ required to apply for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Archie Pitts, chairman of the friends group, said: “The Pump Room Gardens are Grade II listed and were integral to the original town centre.

“They are a major visitor attraction and a focal point for local entertainment.

“The gardens have suffered from neglect and lack of investment and important heritage features have been lost or damaged.

“The structures will be restored by craftsmen experienced in heritage work and improved planting will provide a stunning setting for an exciting year-round programme of festivals and events.

“These works will bring heritage to life in an exciting, interactive and enjoyable way and complete the restoration work started with the renewal of the Linden Arches in 2012.”

The project will include new seating near and around the bandstand, improved lighting, the realignment and resurfacing of paths, the replanting of trees, new flower beds and drainage in the parts of the park which get waterlogged.

York Bridge and its approaches will also be enhanced.

Along with the two councils, the friends will be working on the project with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Warwickshire College and a variety of community groups.

Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White was at the launch last week and peldged his support to the project.

Mr White said: “The Pump Room Gardens are an iconic part of Leamington and are very much part of the rich heritage of our town.

“I am pleased to add my endorsement to the project to restore the Gardens and believe that it will receive wide support from residents across our community.”

The friends were responsible for the £110,000 restoration of the park’s 19th century Linden Arches to their former glory.

The four-year project was completed on time and within budget and the arches, along with a special commemorative plaque, were officially unveiled by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester in June 2012.