Hackney green space wins national funding
Almost £700,000 has been awarded to renovate a hidden treasure of green space in Stoke Newington.
West Hackney Recreation Ground began its life as a 19th century burial ground attached to St Paul's West Hackney Church before being handed to the council in 1885, closing the graveyard and moving headstones aside.
The church itself opened in 1823 but was rebuilt in 1960 following bombing in the Second World War. Now a generous grant has been secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund which will secure the next phase in the development of the recreation ground.
Funding will help to renovate the burial ground, recreation ground and the forecourt at the front of the modernist church, increasing planting adding seating and restoring gravestones, some of which date to the 1800's.
West Hackney Recreation Ground has a fascinating history, typical of many old London burial grounds, that is intrinsically linked to the local community over almost 200 years.
I'm looking forward to seeing the transformation which will see new woodland planted and original pathways restored, and I hope others too will discover anew a welcoming green space at the heart of West Hackney.
Rev. Niall Weir, Rector of St Paul's West Hackney said: "We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious grant and have no doubt that this will not only transform the physical appearance of the recreation ground and St Paul's Churchyard, but that it will also create a wonderful focus and facility for the people of West Hackney."
Consultants will now be appointed to carry out work on the recreation ground, with the project expected to complete in late 2014.
Capital investment of £668,700 has been awarded by HLF and is supported by a maintenance plan which will be jointly managed by the church and the Council's parks department.