May Update

All the preparations are still going on behind the scenes.  This involves planning both the restoration work and this summers events.  The official paperwork is still to be signed off, but we hope to have all that done this summer.

Further details of all the events can be found here.

A major part of the project, is of course the bandstand.  We can’t wait to it restored to its former glory!  For more information on Bandstands, why they exist, and the part they’ve played in British history, please have a look at the website of Paul Rabbitts, which can be found here.  Paul, a self confessed ‘bandstand geek’, has written two books on bandstands, both of which reference the bandstand in the Pump Room Gardens.

 

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Success!

£1 MILLION LOTTERY GRANT ANNOUNCED FOR PUMP ROOM GARDENS

We’re delighted to announce that our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund has been successful! Together with Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council, we’ve been granted £995,656 for a major restoration of the Pump Room Gardens and an enhanced programme of events for the whole community to enjoy.

The physical works – the first significant work in the gardens for over a century – will start in September after the 2016 events season and should be finished by June 2017.

We’d like to thank everyone who has helped us reach this milestone – whether you’ve donated, volunteered with us or shared your feedback on our plans, you’ve made a difference. We’re especially grateful to both the Royal Leamington Spa Town Council and to the Royal Leamington Spa Building Conservation Trust for their major sponsorship.

We look forward to updating you on the progress of the project over the coming months. In the meantime you can view the summary document of the proposals here

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November update

The submission has been made, all we can do now is wait, fingers crossed.  But that doesn’t stop us thinking about all the great things we have planned for the Pump Room Gardens!  The aim is to improve the gardens to make them even more attractive and accessible to all parts of the community.

The bandstand will be restored to its former glory, and will be promoted for use by both professional and start-up groups.  There will be music and dance to reflect the variety of cultures and ethnic groups living in and around Leamington.  Other physical works include: 31 Victorian style benches; new fencing and footpaths; the rebuilding of the steps to York Bridge; addressing drainage issues; new planting at the entrances near the Pump Rooms.

The usual events will take place, and it is hoped that new ones will be planned, including reinstating the annual Vegetable and Flower show which took place every year for about forty years after WWII.

It is also planned that the Pump Room Gardens will be used for a number of activities, including: walking / jogging; themed guided walks; and story telling events.

Watch this space for further details!

 

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Heritage Lottery bid submitted!

Our bid to Heritage Lottery has been submitted!

Thank you to all of the team for their dedicated time and hard work that has gone into preparing the documents (including over 40 appendices).
We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed until we hear the result in early January 2016!

The Steering Group and Friends will continue to work raising the profile of the Pump Room Gardens over the next few months and we will keep you informed of any events and developments with the bid.

Did you know..?
In 1881, improvements were carried out at the west end the Pump Room Gardens including constructing a rockery and waterfall. The waterfall was powered by a steam pump at the Pump Rooms but seems to have been a heavy consumer of power and abandoned.

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Nearly there….

Our project reached an important milestone last month, with Warwick District Council (Executive and Planning) approving our current submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £900,000, including the removal of the listed bandstand for repair and restoration off site. Although the approval was expected, it’s great to have confirmation that we can proceed with the application as planned.

The deadline for submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund is 31 August, and then we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed until we hear the result in early January 2016!

Events
The Warwickshire Pride event last month was a great success, with a range of stalls and entertainment provided by a variety of acts such as the Sambassadors of Groove (pictured).


Coming up next month is one of the biggest events in Leamington’s calendar: the Leamington Food & Drink Festival! Taking place on the weekend of 5-6 September, the festival will feature over 150 stalls, cookery classes and much more!

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Leamington looks back at Waterloo

Regency Ball_A5 Flyer.inddFrom 19 – 21 June, Leamington will host a weekend of activities to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo.

Come down to the Pump Room Gardens on Saturday 20th for ‘Music, Medals and the Military’, where you’ll have the chance to meet the ‘Duke of Wellington’ and learn about how he won the Battle of Waterloo. Listen to live regency music  and make a military hate or marvellous medal with the help of the  Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum.

Take a look at the full programme for the weekend >>

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Over 100 people view plans at exhibitions

Thank you to everyone who came to our exhibitions over the last few weeks. During the events we spoke to a total of over 100 people about the plans for the restoration of the Pump Room Gardens and the overall the response was very enthusiastic!

IMG_2817IMG_2819

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Plans on Display….

The Friends of the Pump Room Gardens will be running a few ‘Public Exhibition’ events in April for people to come and look at the plans for the gardens and see how they are progressing.

Plans

The proposed dates for the events are:

  • Sat. 11 April (North Lodge in Jephson Gardens)
  • Fri 17 April (Foyer of Pump Rooms)
  • Sat 25 April (Foyer of Pump Rooms)

The plans will be on display from 11am – 3pm

If you would like to help with these events and learn more about the project in the process, please contact our Chairman – Archie Pitts on: archiepitts@gmail.com

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The History of Bandstands

Bandstand Image

Paul Rabbitts, a leading UK expert on bandstands, is speaking in Leamington this month about the history of bandstands; their importance; positions in parks and gardens; their decline after World War Two and now their welcome renaissance. He has written two books on the subject, both of which mention the bandstand in the Pump Room Gardens.

Paul freely admits to being a bandstand geek! You can find out more about his enthusiasm for the subject on his website.

Date: Thursday 12 March, 7:30pm
Venue: Conference Centre, St Peter’s Church, Dormer Place, Leamington Spa, CV32 5AA
Entrance: £2 per person, pay on the door

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Pump Room Gardens Restoration Planning Starts

The Pump Room Gardens project has taken a major step forward with the appointment of Ashmead Price to prepare design proposals for the gardens’ restoration. They will also be working alongside architects Brownhill Hayward Brown on plans to restore the historic bandstand and with drainage engineers to investigate water logging that has been a problem for many years.

Archie Pitts, Chair of the Friends Group said; “This is an important step on our way to restoring the Pump Room Gardens to Health and creating an asset all Leamington can be proud of”.

Councillor David Shilton, Portfolio Holder for Warwickshire District Council’s parks and gardens said: “The Council is delighted with the appointments and the progress made so far on this exciting project”.

The restored bandstand will become a focal point for a series of new community activities and a consultant, Allan Randall, has been appointed to oversee the development of these.

The Pump Room Gardens restoration project is a joint venture between Warwick District Council and the Friends of the Pump Room Gardens. Each is contributing 10% of the estimated costs. The balance of the total project amount has been earmarked by the Heritage Lottery Fund to whom Warwick District Council and the Friends of the Pump Room Gardens will be making a formal application in August.

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