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Historic park to be handed over.

Byline: Neil Elkes

A HISTORIC Smethwick park and house will officially be handed over to Sandwell Council next month, paving the way for a major pounds 1.3 million revamp.

The handover of Lightwoods Park and house is expected to be approved by Birmingham City Council at its monthly meeting on September 7. Birmingham has been responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the 30-acre park for a century even though it has always been outside the city boundary.

Parts of the park were gifted to the city by local landowners and the remainder bought in a bid to prevent it falling into the hands of housing developers.

Since then both the park and derelict Lightwoods House have been given Grade II heritage listing, preventing development.

Birmingham City Council's Trust and Charities Committee has reccommended the transfer having been told by legal advisors that Sandwell has a strong claim.

A report to the full council states: "Sandwell Council will be required to maintain the park and keep it open to the public.

"It is understood their intention is to seek funding to refurbish and convert Lightwoods House to a new Children's Centre."

Sandwell has already announced it plans to spend pounds 80,000 a year running the park and carrying out improvements, and will also invest pounds 1.25 million on the 18th century House.

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Revamp: Lightwoods Park.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 24, 2010
Words:230
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