£300k has been awarded to proceed with the £5m lottery grant application that will focus on the restoration of the dinosaurs and their landscape. The Lower Paxton Axis of the park and Penge entrance will also be improved, a new dinosaur themed playground will be developed near the existing popular park café, and a replacement information centre will be provided for visitors and residents to find out about the park and its illustrious history, which will also be occupied by the Crystal Palace Park Trust.
Councillor Yvonne Bear, Executive Councillor for Renewal, Recreation and Housing, says: “This funding is extremely welcome, allowing us to progress our £52m regeneration plan for Crystal Palace Park. Building on our close work with Historic England recently to prepare for the dinosaurs’ restoration, the Heritage Fund grant will allow us to move closer to safeguarding the future of these amazing structures, while also delivering wider improvements to green spaces, including a new playground for families to enjoy. I thank local community groups for their ongoing support as we move forward with our plan, with this not only being about restoration, but creating a sustainable model for the park that works for local residents and businesses, while generating the funds needed to care for these amazing assets and green spaces over the long term.”
The funding for Crystal Palace is part of a nation-wide round of heritage funding totalling over £24m that is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, says: “Crystal Palace Park embodies the joy of heritage: from its nature walks and unique dinosaurs to the kaleidoscope of sporting and cultural activities held in its magnificent grounds. It’s as important to local communities as its history is significant internationally. We’re delighted that thanks to players of the National Lottery, we can save much loved heritage like the Crystal Palace Park all over the UK and create benefits for people, places and our natural environment. In 1852, Crystal Palace Park was designed to impress, educate, entertain and inspire. Our funding will help ensure that it continues to do just that for generations to come.”
Historic England have been undertaking conservation and surveying on the dinosaurs in preparation for the restoration works. The Friends of Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs are also thanked for their important work in relation to conservation and raising the profile of the structures.
David English, Head of Region for London and South East at Historic England, said: “Crystal Palace Park is a fantastic green space made all the more exciting by its depth of history and unique historic features. The new funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund is a welcome boost that will help advance the ambitious improvements the park requires. Historic England has invested more than £1 million in Crystal Palace in recent years, with a particular focus on conserving the park’s listed Victorian subway, Dinosaurs and Sphinxes so that they can be enjoyed now and into the future. We look forward to continuing this work.”