Folk to have their say on the park

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Chorley’s “jewel in the crown” is set to sparkle even brighter after a raft of proposals were revealed.

Award-winning Astley Park is set to be developed and improved further over the next five years.

Chorley Council, which runs the park, is looking to invest £380,000 this financial year and is supported by the National Lottery Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The park underwent a three-year £3m lottery funded revamp in 2009 and celebrated its re-opening to the public with a Picnic in the Park.

It is intended the proposals in the current five-year project will complement and build on this work.

Park users – and visitors to its historic hall – are now being urged to get involved in the ambitious plans.

Ideas include: Footpath lighting in the park; temporary events; an additional new play area; mini-golf; fountains in the lake; an additional car park created on Southport Road for events parking; sensory garden restoration and creating a sensory trail.

Chorley Council has identified the park and its historic buildings as main priorities, and aims to encourage people to make more use of it.

Residents can have an input into the plans at a series of public exhibitions at Astley Hall throughout this month.

Coun Bev Murray, who oversees parks for the council, said: “Astley Park is one of our best attractions, with Astley Hall being the jewel in the crown, and both are already popular with families and for holding events and exhibitions.

“We want people to be able to make more use of them.”

The exhibition will be in Astley Hall from Saturday to Wednesday each week until August 31, noon to 4.30pm and there will be opportunities for people to make comment.

Council parks and open spaces officers will attendthe first and last Saturdays of the exhibition to talk through proposals and answer questions.

Park user Barbara Ramsdale, of Astley Village, said: “The park is nice as it is. It would be great if more events could be on.”

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