Refurbished Middleton Park given official opening

Caption: Middleton Park visitor centre has been officially opened.

A popular park in south Leeds has been given its official opening this month following a £2.2m refurbishment.

As part of the project funded by Leeds City Council, Wades Charity, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund (BLF), a new multi-purpose visitor centre forms the centre piece of a range of improvements that have been made to Middleton Park.

Included in the visitor centre is a café which overlooks the lake and public toilets, while adjacent to the attraction sits a new performance space able to host musical and artistic events.

Already the home to a range of community and educational activities, improvements have also been made to the parks entrances, gardens, footpaths and signage as part of the project, which received nearly £1.5m from the HLF and BLF’s Parks for People programme.

On hand to officially open the visitor centre was Leeds City Council leader Councillor Keith Wakefield, who was joined by local councillors and representatives of the HLF and community group the Friends of Middleton Park, who also worked closely on the improvement plan for the park.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council said:

"It was fantastic to see the range of improvements that have been made to Middleton Park, and to be given the honour of opening the tremendous new visitor centre.

"The park has for many years played such an important part in the lives of so many people, and the introduction of the centre along with a new performance space promise to be great additions for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

"This is a great example of what can be achieved when local representatives, groups, organisations and charities in a local community come together to work closely on a project. They deserve great praise for all their efforts.

"A special thank you must also be made to the Friends of Middleton Park and the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, whose support and funding through their Parks for People grant was absolutely critical to making this ambition at Middleton Park a reality."

Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and The Humber said:

"Middleton Park is one of many that has benefitted from the Parks for People grant programme.

"The improvement works will ensure that the people of Leeds can continue to enjoy their much-loved parkland, which is so important to the wellbeing of the community, now and for generations to come."

Notes to editors:

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy.

Big Lottery Fund (BIG)

The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) has been distributing grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. Website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Parks for People Programme

The Parks for People programme uses Lottery funds to support the regeneration, conservation and increased enjoyment of public parks. The programme aims to improve the local environment and put parks firmly back at the heart of community life.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk