Lottery grant approved for £4.5m Cassiobury Park makeover

Watford Observer: Elected Mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, celebrates lottery grant success with Watford Borough Councillors, park users and staff, at Cassiobury Park paddling pool. Elected Mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, celebrates lottery grant success with Watford Borough Councillors, park users and staff, at Cassiobury Park paddling pool.

Cassiobury Park is in line for a £4.5 million makeover after a successful bid for lottery cash.

Watford Borough Council has received a grant of £4,542,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund to pay for a raft of improvements to the park. 

The news has been welcomed by Elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill, who said: "We worked hard on the bid for external funding as we know Cassiobury Park is a much loved park. These are exciting plans that will see Cassiobury Park up there among the very best in the country."

Alongside restoration of important historic features including bandstands and gatehouses, and the installation of new community facilities, this new funding will also deliver a range of activities designed to help parks across the UK to be more sustainable.

The renovations also include providing an on-site park manager, community park ranger and education officer.

Watford Observer:

Cassiobury Park.

Mayor Thornhill added: "We now have the opportunity to make a real difference to restore much of this historic landscape and improve the facilities. The new park hub building will be a real focus for park activities, as well as providing an opportunity for visitors to discover the rich history of the park.

"I want to thank all the residents and local groups that helped shape our proposals, and also the small team at the council who have worked hard to get this external funding. This is fantastic news for Watford, benefiting local people and future generations."

Carole Souter, chief executive of HLF, said the Big Lottery Fund: "Our report revealed how valued public parks are by people and communities and how essential they are to our physical and emotional well-being. That’s why HLF and the Big Lottery fund have invested over £700million in parks since 1996.

“But the report makes clear that our parks face an uncertain future and so it’s exciting to see how this new investment is going some way towards helping parks like Cassiobury Park find new ways of funding and maintaining them so they are still here to be enjoyed long into the future.”

Comments (20)

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2:20am Mon 7 Jul 14

ralear49 says...

good, can you put the park gate house back please?
good, can you put the park gate house back please? ralear49
  • Score: 13

8:57am Mon 7 Jul 14

Cuetip says...

Access remains a major problem if the aim is to increase visitor numbers to ensure the capital spending is justifiable.

Safe cycling routes to the park might help to ease expected congestion problems as numbers rise for the expected growth in events. Let's hope we don't lose this 'tranquility lung' with amplified music and the litter strewn night time economy doesn't become the norm every weekend .
Access remains a major problem if the aim is to increase visitor numbers to ensure the capital spending is justifiable. Safe cycling routes to the park might help to ease expected congestion problems as numbers rise for the expected growth in events. Let's hope we don't lose this 'tranquility lung' with amplified music and the litter strewn night time economy doesn't become the norm every weekend . Cuetip
  • Score: 20

9:36am Mon 7 Jul 14

gusgreen says...

Good news I think!

Remember that this is a PARK for recreation and a peaceful oasis from the ever increasing madness of the world around it.

It is NOT a venue for an ever increasing amount of loud,scruffy,unkempt activities which would make the park a no go area at weekends as this defeats the whole object of the park

A gentle sound of a brass band etc in the replaced bandstand,children splashing in the new water area, families having a day out in the park,dog walkers etc is what Cassiobury Park is - NOT a place of overloud so called festivals. Dotty has just spent £4500000 on the top of the town for those.
Good news I think! Remember that this is a PARK for recreation and a peaceful oasis from the ever increasing madness of the world around it. It is NOT a venue for an ever increasing amount of loud,scruffy,unkempt activities which would make the park a no go area at weekends as this defeats the whole object of the park A gentle sound of a brass band etc in the replaced bandstand,children splashing in the new water area, families having a day out in the park,dog walkers etc is what Cassiobury Park is - NOT a place of overloud so called festivals. Dotty has just spent £4500000 on the top of the town for those. gusgreen
  • Score: 31

9:56am Mon 7 Jul 14

Mike Ribble says...

Yes this is good news.
I'm looking forward to the bridge over the paddling pool.
Yes this is good news. I'm looking forward to the bridge over the paddling pool. Mike Ribble
  • Score: 20

10:43am Mon 7 Jul 14

croxley46 says...

I thought you had to be under 14 to use the paddling pool - or is that their I.Q. ...............?
I thought you had to be under 14 to use the paddling pool - or is that their I.Q. ...............? croxley46
  • Score: 11

11:36am Mon 7 Jul 14

phil mitchel says...

This woman is intent on covering Watford with concrete, now she wants to build a thing that looks like a third world airport terminal in our beautiful park.
This woman is intent on covering Watford with concrete, now she wants to build a thing that looks like a third world airport terminal in our beautiful park. phil mitchel
  • Score: 4

12:59pm Mon 7 Jul 14

sambora says...

fantastic news!! this is a wonderful park and unlike the ne'er do wells who like to moan and whinge at any proposals and improvements made to our town, this will ensure the park is there for future generations - the pools are on their last legs - well scruffy, the toilets are disgusting, and as for those 5 silly 80s buildings by the pools - lets have a lovely building that serves our wonderful park and gives the visitor a quality experience in a quality environment. Do people really think that such facilities dont need investment. Look at what the Council have done at Oxhey Park and Callowlands Rec ... oh and have a look at the lovely sculptures down at Waterfields Recreation Ground. The parks have never looked better and lets get on now and sort out Cassiobury - its our jewel and am sure it will remain so.
fantastic news!! this is a wonderful park and unlike the ne'er do wells who like to moan and whinge at any proposals and improvements made to our town, this will ensure the park is there for future generations - the pools are on their last legs - well scruffy, the toilets are disgusting, and as for those 5 silly 80s buildings by the pools - lets have a lovely building that serves our wonderful park and gives the visitor a quality experience in a quality environment. Do people really think that such facilities dont need investment. Look at what the Council have done at Oxhey Park and Callowlands Rec ... oh and have a look at the lovely sculptures down at Waterfields Recreation Ground. The parks have never looked better and lets get on now and sort out Cassiobury - its our jewel and am sure it will remain so. sambora
  • Score: 7

1:26pm Mon 7 Jul 14

phil mitchel says...

Sambora, is this same Oxhey park these **** want to push road through ? as for the lovely sculptures be honest they were bought as a job lot and they didn't know what to do with them. I went and looked at Dorothys Ditch £4.3 million of vanity project on Saturday, 'impressed' was the last work that came to mind.
Sambora, is this same Oxhey park these **** want to push road through ? as for the lovely sculptures be honest they were bought as a job lot and they didn't know what to do with them. I went and looked at Dorothys Ditch £4.3 million of vanity project on Saturday, 'impressed' was the last work that came to mind. phil mitchel
  • Score: 0

2:19pm Mon 7 Jul 14

TRT says...

sambora wrote:
fantastic news!! this is a wonderful park and unlike the ne'er do wells who like to moan and whinge at any proposals and improvements made to our town, this will ensure the park is there for future generations - the pools are on their last legs - well scruffy, the toilets are disgusting, and as for those 5 silly 80s buildings by the pools - lets have a lovely building that serves our wonderful park and gives the visitor a quality experience in a quality environment. Do people really think that such facilities dont need investment. Look at what the Council have done at Oxhey Park and Callowlands Rec ... oh and have a look at the lovely sculptures down at Waterfields Recreation Ground. The parks have never looked better and lets get on now and sort out Cassiobury - its our jewel and am sure it will remain so.
Yes, I saw the "improvements" they've made to Oxhey Park...
OK, the playground, good - 8/10. It's moved out of the overgrown, inaccessible corner it was in, and it's got all new playthings, and is heavily used (despite the parking problem that causes on Eastbury Road!)
The signage... well that gets 3/10 from me. Some nice historical background, but they've omitted Dalton Way from the map, depicting it as a green field, they've shown the Mill Arm as a lovely blue stub instead of the muddy wildlife haven that it is, they've omitted the playing fields altogether as if they're not part of the park, presumably as they intend to concrete over half of it.
The steps... 4/10. One long straight line, benches inexplicably not staggered left and right, wooden posts cut short to fit at the wrong end, an interesting conker at the top which now says "no climbing", but really not very impressive at all.
The bridge... 10/10. Superbly useful place to cross the river. Pity the nice pedestrian walk to Century Park will become more hazardous with the new road.
Accessible gravel paths. 5/10. One was needed to avoid the long steps, but the other one just meanders around aimlessly taking you nowhere particularly interesting.
Football pitch. 1/10. Too small even for 5-a-side. What was the point?
New gates... 7/10. OK, they look fine. Vandalised already, but hey ho.
New railings... 5/10. Not particularly attractive. Were they required?

Does anyone know how much this cost? Did the river get dredged for this? No.

This council has a fairly mediocre record for getting things right, and a poor record for getting value for money. And as for their taste in public art...

I'm not going to hold my breath for anything spectacular.
[quote][p][bold]sambora[/bold] wrote: fantastic news!! this is a wonderful park and unlike the ne'er do wells who like to moan and whinge at any proposals and improvements made to our town, this will ensure the park is there for future generations - the pools are on their last legs - well scruffy, the toilets are disgusting, and as for those 5 silly 80s buildings by the pools - lets have a lovely building that serves our wonderful park and gives the visitor a quality experience in a quality environment. Do people really think that such facilities dont need investment. Look at what the Council have done at Oxhey Park and Callowlands Rec ... oh and have a look at the lovely sculptures down at Waterfields Recreation Ground. The parks have never looked better and lets get on now and sort out Cassiobury - its our jewel and am sure it will remain so.[/p][/quote]Yes, I saw the "improvements" they've made to Oxhey Park... OK, the playground, good - 8/10. It's moved out of the overgrown, inaccessible corner it was in, and it's got all new playthings, and is heavily used (despite the parking problem that causes on Eastbury Road!) The signage... well that gets 3/10 from me. Some nice historical background, but they've omitted Dalton Way from the map, depicting it as a green field, they've shown the Mill Arm as a lovely blue stub instead of the muddy wildlife haven that it is, they've omitted the playing fields altogether as if they're not part of the park, presumably as they intend to concrete over half of it. The steps... 4/10. One long straight line, benches inexplicably not staggered left and right, wooden posts cut short to fit at the wrong end, an interesting conker at the top which now says "no climbing", but really not very impressive at all. The bridge... 10/10. Superbly useful place to cross the river. Pity the nice pedestrian walk to Century Park will become more hazardous with the new road. Accessible gravel paths. 5/10. One was needed to avoid the long steps, but the other one just meanders around aimlessly taking you nowhere particularly interesting. Football pitch. 1/10. Too small even for 5-a-side. What was the point? New gates... 7/10. OK, they look fine. Vandalised already, but hey ho. New railings... 5/10. Not particularly attractive. Were they required? Does anyone know how much this cost? Did the river get dredged for this? No. This council has a fairly mediocre record for getting things right, and a poor record for getting value for money. And as for their taste in public art... I'm not going to hold my breath for anything spectacular. TRT
  • Score: 8

2:23pm Mon 7 Jul 14

BazWD24 says...

Ditch all the 'no cycling' signs - we should be encouraging exercise, not blocking it. Common sense should always prevail - cyclists should exercise caution in congested areas.
I already see fellow cyclists (including Police) cycling in "no cycling" areas - so let's recognise this and save money by no longer enforcing it or putting up "no" signs.

I'd love to see how much of this £4.5M makes it through to actual work being down, after the consultants/etc. have creamed off their cut.
Ditch all the 'no cycling' signs - we should be encouraging exercise, not blocking it. Common sense should always prevail - cyclists should exercise caution in congested areas. I already see fellow cyclists (including Police) cycling in "no cycling" areas - so let's recognise this and save money by no longer enforcing it or putting up "no" signs. I'd love to see how much of this £4.5M makes it through to actual work being down, after the consultants/etc. have creamed off their cut. BazWD24
  • Score: -2

9:19pm Mon 7 Jul 14

sambora says...

TRT
You need to get out more! of course youre opinion but if thats what you think, fair enough. Glad that what you actually think is misguided, silly and downright stupid. Hmmm wonder when the last time was you actually got off your backside and did something positive for the town rather than frequent WOBS threads ranting about nothing. If thats what you really think of Oxhey Park, I worry unless you just simply like to have a pop at anything positive. But thats your prerogative
TRT You need to get out more! of course youre opinion but if thats what you think, fair enough. Glad that what you actually think is misguided, silly and downright stupid. Hmmm wonder when the last time was you actually got off your backside and did something positive for the town rather than frequent WOBS threads ranting about nothing. If thats what you really think of Oxhey Park, I worry unless you just simply like to have a pop at anything positive. But thats your prerogative sambora
  • Score: 3

10:11pm Mon 7 Jul 14

E.Coli says...

Mike Ribble wrote:
Yes this is good news.
I'm looking forward to the bridge over the paddling pool.
soon the paddling pool with be lime green as well
[quote][p][bold]Mike Ribble[/bold] wrote: Yes this is good news. I'm looking forward to the bridge over the paddling pool.[/p][/quote]soon the paddling pool with be lime green as well E.Coli
  • Score: 2

6:22am Tue 8 Jul 14

blonde demon says...

parking is a nightmare need a bigger car park, not everyone can use the car parks in town and walk to cassiobury park
parking is a nightmare need a bigger car park, not everyone can use the car parks in town and walk to cassiobury park blonde demon
  • Score: 0

9:34am Tue 8 Jul 14

angryangryangry says...

blonde demon wrote:
parking is a nightmare need a bigger car park, not everyone can use the car parks in town and walk to cassiobury park
Absolutely agree. There is not enough parking there at the moment so adding more visitors would make it even more of a nightmare!
[quote][p][bold]blonde demon[/bold] wrote: parking is a nightmare need a bigger car park, not everyone can use the car parks in town and walk to cassiobury park[/p][/quote]Absolutely agree. There is not enough parking there at the moment so adding more visitors would make it even more of a nightmare! angryangryangry
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Tue 8 Jul 14

LocalBoy1 says...

OH dear, please don't tell me Dotty is going to influence the design yet again?
OH dear, please don't tell me Dotty is going to influence the design yet again? LocalBoy1
  • Score: -1

1:24pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Watfordengineer says...

woooo free cash for watford! sounds good to me! the park is a wonderful place, and some well placed investment would make it a real class act. on my want lists are -
replaced paddling pools
better toilets (and more of them)
rejuvenated tennis and basketball courts.
CCTV on the main route through from cassiobury
some areas for well kept planting. maybe a walled garden walk that can be locked at night?

Oh and I went to the top of town. i liked it. didn't love it. but I think it looks a lot better and there is good scope for investment now. pond was nice and clean. so 7/10 but as far as government projects go, pretty good!
woooo free cash for watford! sounds good to me! the park is a wonderful place, and some well placed investment would make it a real class act. on my want lists are - replaced paddling pools better toilets (and more of them) rejuvenated tennis and basketball courts. CCTV on the main route through from cassiobury some areas for well kept planting. maybe a walled garden walk that can be locked at night? Oh and I went to the top of town. i liked it. didn't love it. but I think it looks a lot better and there is good scope for investment now. pond was nice and clean. so 7/10 but as far as government projects go, pretty good! Watfordengineer
  • Score: 4

4:27pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Wacko Jacko says...

This is very good news for Watford. It will make really worthwhile improvements to the park facilities which are long overdue, better toilets, better changing rooms, club changing facilities as well as improvements to Cha Cha Cha and the return of the bandstand. I agree with Watfordengineer, the improvements to the top of the town are very successful and will bring new life to that end of the high street. Add to this lot we're getting a new market in late summer too. Watford is on the up, it's just the miserable few who lurk on these pages who don't recognise it.
This is very good news for Watford. It will make really worthwhile improvements to the park facilities which are long overdue, better toilets, better changing rooms, club changing facilities as well as improvements to Cha Cha Cha and the return of the bandstand. I agree with Watfordengineer, the improvements to the top of the town are very successful and will bring new life to that end of the high street. Add to this lot we're getting a new market in late summer too. Watford is on the up, it's just the miserable few who lurk on these pages who don't recognise it. Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 2

10:14pm Tue 8 Jul 14

drunkenduck says...

BazWD24 wrote:
Ditch all the 'no cycling' signs - we should be encouraging exercise, not blocking it. Common sense should always prevail - cyclists should exercise caution in congested areas.
I already see fellow cyclists (including Police) cycling in "no cycling" areas - so let's recognise this and save money by no longer enforcing it or putting up "no" signs.

I'd love to see how much of this £4.5M makes it through to actual work being down, after the consultants/etc. have creamed off their cut.
Why don't you ban the carpark too, after all you can walk to the park instead of using your car and encouraging more people to exercise...!

But why is that anything close to the town hall is getting millions of pounds spent on a new face lift, while other projects around town. Just get few thousand spent.. Or is this just keep the "fat cats" council stuff happy.
[quote][p][bold]BazWD24[/bold] wrote: Ditch all the 'no cycling' signs - we should be encouraging exercise, not blocking it. Common sense should always prevail - cyclists should exercise caution in congested areas. I already see fellow cyclists (including Police) cycling in "no cycling" areas - so let's recognise this and save money by no longer enforcing it or putting up "no" signs. I'd love to see how much of this £4.5M makes it through to actual work being down, after the consultants/etc. have creamed off their cut.[/p][/quote]Why don't you ban the carpark too, after all you can walk to the park instead of using your car and encouraging more people to exercise...! But why is that anything close to the town hall is getting millions of pounds spent on a new face lift, while other projects around town. Just get few thousand spent.. Or is this just keep the "fat cats" council stuff happy. drunkenduck
  • Score: -1

11:42am Wed 9 Jul 14

LocalBoy1 says...

It's a disgrace that all these millions are being spent on vanity projects and yet the young people of Watford still ONLY have that scrubby little piece of land as a skateboard park at the bottom of town, easy to see where the Lib Dem priorities are.
It's a disgrace that all these millions are being spent on vanity projects and yet the young people of Watford still ONLY have that scrubby little piece of land as a skateboard park at the bottom of town, easy to see where the Lib Dem priorities are. LocalBoy1
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Fri 11 Jul 14

luthersbruv says...

Hooray - four and a half million for the local Council to restore Cassiobury Park back to it's former glory, after years of utter vandalism by ........... the local Council.

Good 'move'Dotty' - no-one will ever notice!
Hooray - four and a half million for the local Council to restore Cassiobury Park back to it's former glory, after years of utter vandalism by ........... the local Council. Good 'move'Dotty' - no-one will ever notice! luthersbruv
  • Score: 0

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