PRESS NOTICE
 
The Lancashire Evening Post, Thursday, 10th February 2011
 
Security stepped up at listed park monument By Jenny Simpson
 
 
A HISTORIC part of a Preston park is to get extra protection after being repeatedly targeted by vandals.

The Belvedere in Avenham Park will get taller, cast iron railings to the rear and sides to help prevent thugs from climbing onto the roof of the Grade II listed structure.

Yobs caused extensive damage to the Belvedere when they smashed a stone surround at the top and ornamental urns in May 2009.

That came months after a wrecking spree which saw eight ornamental urns hurled to the ground, causing thousands of pounds of damage. Park visitors called for better security to prevent more vandalism.

The Belvedere in Avenham Park
The Belvedere in Avenham Park
 
The Secretary of State for Planning has now given listed building consent for the railings to be extended up to 6.Sft tall and a new access gate installed, to make the Belvedere more secure. The project will cost 7,655 and it is hoped the work will be carried out soon.

Avenham and Miller Parks are currently undergoing a major restoration project, with cash from the Heritage Lottery. Fr Timothy Lipscomb of Friends of Avenham Park said: "It's important we are not beaten by the small minority who try to spoil the park for everyone else.

"We have to protect these things, try to stop vandals and make sure it is safe for everyone.

"It is all coming together and by spring, the park will look rather lovely."

The Belvedere was built as a shelter in 1865 as a centre piece for Miller Park's Italianate terrace but later moved to its current location to make way for the Lord Derby memorial.

It was designed by Victorian landscape architect Edward Milner, who was also behind the layout of Avenham and Miller Parks.

Funding is still being sought to repair damaged stonework on the Belvedere.

 
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© The Lancashire Evening Post, February 2011