Park project to provide inclusive link goes ahead
With your tremendous support we have been busy fund raising to provide inclusive access to the Upper Lawn and improve the play facilities in the Park. I am pleased to report that on 1 June 2020 work will commence to install the fully accessible ‘playful bridge’ linking the two sections of the park divided by the sunken walkway.
We thought long and hard about whether to go ahead with this project in the current unprecedented times. After much deliberation, and with support from NNDC, it was decided to go ahead – so when the bridge is finished and we emerge from the other side of this pandemic Cromer will have something to celebrate.
Inevitably it has taken time to research, develop and get approval for such an ambitious scheme, but the funding was finally in place just as the country locked down.
You rose magnificently to the challenge of helping the project financially by sponsoring a plank. Although successful grant applications contributed over £80,000 towards the project, with a significant contribution from Cromer Town Council and the Government Pocket Parks fund, most of the funding has come from the community, with a major contribution (£90,000) from café takings thanks to our customers, volunteer staff and bakers.
There was a fantastic response to our funding appeals, with over £25,000 raised from individual plaques for sponsored planks on the bridge, and from sales of our books of café cake recipes (Will You Marry Me?) and the Brief History of the Park.
Some of the periphery works – such as benches – are being delayed and still need funding: there’s still time to sponsor a plank or buy one of the books – see northlodgepark.org.uk for full details – to help complete the project.
With the current restrictions in place, we can’t be definitive on dates, it depends how much the suppliers are impacted over the coming weeks. But the contractor, Modern Method Construction Ltd will commence on June 1st, although some of the play equipment and landscaping outside the main contractors’ remit will be implemented later.
The new zig-zag wooden bridge will allow explorers of all ages and abilities to easily access the new play area which will include a range of new play equipment as well as areas of wild flowers and pathways to open up access to the cliff top path. The bridge itself will include some elements of play and will take approx. 6 weeks to construct. During this time the sunken walkway will be closed to the public with diversion notices in place.