Funding boost of £300,000 for Kettering's Wicksteed Park

A massive boost for the park, which hopes to open again this year

By Sam Wildman
Friday, 19th February 2021, 12:01 am
Updated Friday, 19th February 2021, 10:22 am
Wicksteed Park.
Wicksteed Park.

Kettering's Wicksteed Park will receive £300,000 from a Government Covid recovery fund, it has been confirmed today (Friday).

The popular park, off Barton Road, will benefit from a capital kickstart award share of the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund to pay for previously-planned restoration and refurbishment work around the park which may have been lost due to pandemic.

The boost of £302,700 takes the total cash given to the park since the shock administration of Wicksteed Park Ltd last year to well over £750,000.

Oliver Wicksteed, chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust which owns the park, said: “We are incredibly grateful that the Government understands the importance of the park and its heritage and is backing us in this way.

“This grant funding highlights just how important ongoing financial support, coupled with fundraising and donations form the local community, is to help secure the long-term future of the park.”

Many attractions at the park have been closed since the pandemic started last year with original hopes to re-open it by the spring of 2021, but no further updates about its plans have been announced.

In June last year it was given £247,000 in emergency National Lottery funding, before it was given another £247,000 in October as part of the Here for Culture campaign.

Fundraising and donations from those who love the park have also topped more than £160,000.

Mr Wicksteed had previously said the park alone, without the rides and attractions, costs around £110,000 a month to operate.

The park is one of 22 locations to benefit from the latest round of funding, which will also see £719,700 given to Northamptonshire's Chester Farm.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “From restoring Georgian lidos and Roman baths to saving local screens and synagogues, our Culture Recovery Fund is helping to save the places people can’t wait to get back to, when it is safe to do so.

“All over the country, this funding is protecting the venues that have shaped our history and make us proud of our communities, whilst safeguarding the livelihoods of the people that work in them.”

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “These are all ongoing major refurbishment and restoration projects, funded by us, which have been threatened by the pandemic.

"From the oldest surviving outdoor swimming baths to a Victorian pier, and from a much-loved park to an historic abbey, these are all places that will enrich hundreds of lives when they reopen.

"We are delighted this extra funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will ensure that these exciting projects will go ahead.”