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It's back to the future for restored town park.

Byline: By Peter Collins South Wales Echo

A popular South Wales park is being restored to its former Victorian glory thanks to a pounds 1.7m project.

Residents in Barry will feel like they have stepped back in time when the work in Victoria Park is finished later this year, with everything from the plants to the bins being returned to the styles that would have been used in the 19th Century.

The park's 100-year-old bandstand has been given a facelift, while the search is on for a drinking fountain of suitable style to reflect those of the period.

As part of the scheme, the original planting pattern is being restored using plants and styles appropriate to urban parks of the era.

And the original framework of the park is being restored, with old benches, litter bins, signs and railings removed and replaced with replicas of the originals.

Jennifer Stewart, manager for Wales of the Heritage Lottery Fund, which is funding the work, said: 'This funding will vastly improve Victoria Park and encourage greater public use of a wonderful green space.

'Historic features will be reinstated so that visitors are more aware of its heritage value, and key facilities added so that it can function as effectively as possible.

'The project will have real benefits for the local community, improving an already popular space for everyone to enjoy.'

A full-time resident park manager and gardeners will ensure the park maintains a high standard.

They will coordinate a programme of outreach and educational work, developing links with local community groups and schools.

Footpaths will be repaired and the existing play area will be upgraded.

Vale of Glamorgan council leader Jeff James said: 'On completion, this project will be a tremendous boost for the area.'

The park is a fine example of the late Victorian and Edwardian movement of public park creation in the towns of Wales and played an important role in ensuring that an open public space was retained as the surrounding area became built up with housing, roads and schools.

The restoration scheme is supported by the Vale council and Welsh Development Agency.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 24, 2006
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