Trafford Council will pitch for £3m in National Lottery funding to help transform one of the area’s most famous and popular public parks.

The council’s executive has approved the bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund towards the restoration of Longford Park.

The park, a designated conservation area, was owned by John and Enriqueta Rylands who lived at Longford Hall and who also built Stretford Public Hall.

Plans include the proposed development of a new learning, training and volunteering hub in the park’s historic long barn and improved sports and recreational facilities including a new BMX course and revamped sports courts.

The council, along with partners the One Trafford Partnership, also plan for the redesign of features such as the former Longford Hall site and gardens, a revamped Pets’ Corner, the re-opening of Longford Brook, plus new footpaths, seating, lighting and multi-media interpretation. 

The bid also includes funding for two new members of staff responsible for delivering a programme of events, activities and community engagement to broaden the park’s appeal and impact.

Trafford recently submitted a planning application for the wide-scale transformation of the park – the borough’s largest at 54 acres.

Match funding of around £1m towards the work has already been secured through planning contributions from the local area, plus cash from the council’s own budget. 

The proposals have been developed in conjunction with consultants The Environment Partnership (TEP), The Friends of Longford Park, City of Trees and the One Trafford Partnership, made possible by development grant funding from the NLHF in addition to council funding.

A public consultation took place last year asking residents what they thought of the current plans for Longford Park, with over 300 responses received and used to refine the plans.

The council has pledged to improving residents "health and wellbeing and has made addressing our climate crisis a major corporate priority".

Cllr Liz Patel, executive member for economy and regeneration at the council, said: “We have some amazing parks in Trafford and they are all extremely important to local communities.

"Parks provide welcome green spaces in our neighbourhoods, helping to keep people healthy and active and providing a space for nature.

“This funding will help us transform Longford Park and make it an even more incredible space for thousands of local residents and visitors now and in the future. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard and contributed to this project.”

A decision on the May bid is expected in September of this year and, if successful, work could start on site in autumn 2024.