Green Park in Horbury to be leased to Heritage Trust from Wakefield Council as deal approved

A community group will be given a 50-year lease to run one of Wakefield's biggest green spaces.

By David Spereall
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 5:34 pm
The Horbury Heritage Trust will take over the running of Green Park from Wakefield Council.
The Horbury Heritage Trust will take over the running of Green Park from Wakefield Council.

Green Park in Horbury will be handed over to the Horbury Heritage Trust, in a deal which park users are promised will be a game changer.

The trust's plans to breathe new life into the park include the development of separate play areas for young children and teenagers, a multi-use games arena, a wildflower meadow and picnic areas with tables.

A perimeter footpath and outdoor gym trail are also on the agenda.

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The deal is expected to bring wholesale improvements to the park, with the trust planning to build facilities which appeal to people of all ages.

The group will take over responsibility for the park from Wakefield Council, after the council's licensing committee unanimously approved the deal on Wednesday.

Heritage Trust chairman Mick Cudworth said: "Our community focused project aims to redevelop the park to achieve its potential as a modern day community park.

"It is focused on transforming the opportunities for recreation, exercise and enjoyment for people of all ages and abilities within a more biodiverse setting."

Mr Cudworth said the lease was likely to be formally signed in the next "12 to 18 months" and that in the meantime the trust would fundraise and plan the improvements it wants to make.

He said that the current levels of inflation may make fundraising challenging, but added: "With so much support for this wonderful community project we approach it with confidence and look forward to getting lots of people engaged in further consultation and crowdfunding.

"We will also liaise with Wakefield Council to explore if we can start operating within the park and making some improvements on licence, pending the lease."

The Horbury Common Lands Trust will also be involved and will help financially support the park's upkeep.

The deal had been expected to go through last month, but was delayed after a meeting of the licensing committee was called off at the last minute.

All but one of the councillors, the exception being committee chair Kevin Swift, had said in advance they'd be unable to attend.

Local Democracy Reporting Service