A national award has been given to the council for its management of a multi-million-pound regeneration project of a historic beauty spot. 

Watford Borough Council picked up the prize when the scheme to improve Cassiobury Park was named Best Parks Restoration/Development Project at the Horticulture Week Custodian Awards.

The redevelopment project in Watford began in 2011 and received £6.6 million in funding - £5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund and £1.6 million from the council itself. 

The scheme included refurbishment of the Cha Café and restoring Watford’s Edwardian bandstand to its original place in the centre of the park.

The paddling pools in the park received a £2.8 million upgrade and the new state-of-the-art, energy efficient Cassiobury Park Hub was also included in the redevelopment plan which now boasts additional changing rooms, toilets, fully inclusive Changing Places facilities, an events space and the popular Daisy’s in the Park café.

New lighting, paths and information boards have been installed and the once lost 18th Century Lime Avenue has also been restored. 

Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “We are delighted. Maintaining the quality of our amazing parks is one of my top priorities as mayor. 

“We have worked hard to make Cassiobury Park the landmark visitor attraction it is today. Under our management – with the help of our partners, Veolia, the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, and Friends of Cassiobury Park – it will remain so for generations to come.”

The park has been voted one of the UK’s top ten parks receiving more than 2.15 million visits a year. Watford Brough Council bought most of the park between 1908 and 1913. It was previously own by the Earl of Essex.