|The Lancashire Evening Post, Monday, 7th August 2006|
The next stage of a £5m project to reinvigorate two of Preston's grade II listed parks is now under way.
Next week, builders will complete work to divert a sewer to make way for a new pavilion and outdoor performance area on Avenham Park.
When complete, the pavilion will form a major part of the redevelopment of Avenham and Miller Parks and will include facilities such as a café, exhibition space, toilets, park ranger base and drop-in centre for the police On the Beat scheme.
The outdoor performance area, next to the pavilion, will be used to host concerts and other outdoor events.
Planned work will also see the refurbishment of historic features including the Swiss Chalet and Belvedere, improvements to the entrance gates, boundary walls, railings and cycle routes, and improved lighting and signage.
Fr Timothy Lipscomb, chairman of the Friends of Avenham and Miller Park, said: "A lot of planning and preparation has gone into this project and we're pleased to see that the developments are moving forward.
"Both Avenham and Miller Parks are already superb places to visit, but the improvements will provide important community facilities and restore the historic features of the parks to their former glory."
Coun Veronica Afrin, executive member for regeneration, community and leisure at Preston Council, said: "This project will breathe new life into Avenham and Miller Parks and restore them to their former glory.
"The improvements to Avenham and Miller parks are a key part of our plans to put Preston on the map as the North West's third city and bring more people into the city's parks."
A large proportion of the project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and regional manager, Tony Jones, said: "We've committed £2.8m towards the restoration of the parks and are pleased to see work progressing to ensure the parks reach their full potential as a haven for local people."
Preston Council is investing £1.3m in the project, with other funding coming from the AvenCentral Regeneration Partnership, Lancashire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund.
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|© The Lancashire Evening Post, August 2006|