Watford Borough Council has appointed Borras Construction to carry out the £6.6m Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery funded restoration of Cassiobury Park.
Based locally in St Albans, Borras is a family-owned contractor which has worked on numerous successful park restoration projects.
Work will begin in February, starting with the construction of an eco-friendly hub building that will become the heart of the park, and act as a central welcoming point for visitors. As well as providing improved changing facilities for the pools, sports changing rooms, a new kiosk and upper floor café, the hub will include a flexible teaching and exhibition space.
Other key features of the restoration are:
• improving the Café Cha tea pavilion and gardens
• revamping and improving the pools
• returning the historic bandstand to the park
• restoring of the historic 18th century Lime Avenue
• providing an on site park manager, community park ranger and education officer
The works will be timed so that any disruption to the annual 2m visitors is kept to a minimum. Inevitably with a restoration of this scale, there will be bits of the park closed off temporarily. Café Cha will be closed for around four to five months – but mobile catering will be provided. A part of Gade Avenue car park will be taken over as a works access, reducing its capacity by about a third. A temporary road will also be created to transport building materials to the site for the new hub building.
Most of the usual events and activities will still be taking place throughout 2016. Last year, more than 2,500 children and adults attending events ranging from Nordic walking and horse and carriage rides, to jazz swing festivals and teddy bears picnics. To find out what is coming up, please visit our Events pages.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill, said: “Cassiobury is Watford’s best loved public park and our principal green space. I know how important it is to our residents, which is why we are taking this opportunity to restore some of its unique historical character for future generations to enjoy.”
Borras Construction Chairman Rae Borras had this to say following their appointment as main contractor: “As a local business, many of us have enjoyed making use of Cassiobury – an oasis of calm in this busy area which we live and work in. We are grateful to Watford Borough Council for entrusting us with this project and look forward to returning a much improved Cassiobury Park for the people of the Watford area to enjoy for many years to come.”