Renovation plans for Swanspool pavilion and gardens in Wellingborough as town council takes steps to initiate transfer of management from NNC

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The pavilion and gardens are a place of ‘historical and cultural significance’

The renovation of the ‘cherished’ Swanspool pavilion and gardens is one step closer to fruition as Wellingborough Town Council will seek the transfer of the site, as decided in a meeting held on January 29.

The gardens and pavilion, as well as Swanspool House is currently the responsibility of North Northants Council (NNC), but in the time that the unitary authority has managed the site, the pavilion and gardens have been rendered unfit for purpose.

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Now, the town council has plans to renovate the area to include upgraded facilities and environmentally friendly enhancements to ‘create a space that meets the evolving needs of residents while preserving the pavilion’s historical and cultural significance.’

Swanspool Pavilion and GardensSwanspool Pavilion and Gardens
Swanspool Pavilion and Gardens

A Wellingborough Town Council spokesman said: "The proposed renovations are designed not only to refurbish the pavilion but also to transform its surrounding gardens, making them more sustainable.

"The decision reflects the council’s commitment to preserving and enhancing Swanspool pavilion’s role as a focal point for community activities and gatherings.

"By seeking a transfer and short-term lease, the council aims to put the building back into community use as soon as possible, whilst securing its long-term future.”

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Swanspool pavilion and gardens was the subject of a meeting on January 17 where the findings of the working group set up last summer were presented to the town council.

When the borough councils were amalgamated into two unitary authorities in spring 2021, ownership of Swanspool fell to North Northants Council, but it has since not been widely advertised for hire and has no regular income.

As a result, the pavilion and gardens require significant maintenance to be re-established as an attraction, as the area has fallen into a state of disrepair, with one bowling green not currently in use and the tennis courts no longer fit for purpose.

Wellingborough Town Council sees this transfer as a ‘new chapter’ in the ongoing efforts to revitalise the area.

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The town council spokesman added: "By seeking the transfer, securing a short-term lease, and preparing a grant bid for renovations, the council demonstrates its unwavering dedication to enhancing community spaces and ensuring their sustainability for generations to come.

"As plans progress and developments unfold, residents can expect continued transparency and opportunities for input, ensuring that the revitalisation of Swanspool pavilion remains a collaborative effort that reflects the aspirations and values of the community at large.”

Swanspool House, a grade 2-listed building will remain under the management of NNC, however at a meeting in June 2023, a councillor said: “Taking over Swanspool pavilion and gardens is a bit like taking the cart without the horse if we don’t take Swanspool House with it.

"I think we do need to consider Swanspool House at a later date.”

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A comprehensive bid for a grant dedicated to enhancing the pavilion and its surrounding gardens will be compiled over the coming months and submitted to a future council meeting for approval.

This will alleviate the pressure on taxpayers to fund the work, while securing additional funding to support the renovation efforts.