Park arches restoration work

Astley Park main entrance, Chorley
Astley Park main entrance, Chorley

Vital restoration work to the memorial arch at Astley Park will start tomorrow.

It will mean that the main town centre entrance to the historic park will be closed for up to two months.

Scaffolding will block off the gated entrance to allow restoration work to take place as part of the Chorley Remembers project.

The work, which is being funded by the Heritage Lottery fund, is supported by Chorley Council, which owns and manages the park.

Visitors will still be able to access the park through entrances off Queen’s Road and the pedestrian gate on Park Road.

Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of the council, said: “We’re proud to be involved in the work of the Chorley Remembers group because the enhancements to the Chorley Pals statue and improvements to the war memorial have made a real difference to the town.

“The work coincides with the opening of the Chorley Remembers Experience exhibition in the Coach House at the other end of the park and the three main areas that focus on our history are becoming a real tourist attraction for the town.

“The closure of the main Park Road entrance will cause some inconvenience but the entrance off Queen’s Road car park and the gate further up Park Road are only a very short distance away.”

The memorial arch was placed in its current location in the 1920s, having been originally located at the entrance to the Gillibrand Estate.

Although it appears to be structurally sound, a survey found evidence of gradual deterioration due to weathering and water ingress.

MP Lindsay Hoyle MP, chairman of the Chorley Remembers group, said: “The memorial arch provides a very grand entrance to the park and is an important part of the town’s history. Not only will the arch be restored but work will be done to improve the entrance with the cobbled area being repaired so we don’t get pools of water as people are entering the park.

“I’m proud of all the work that has gone into the different elements of the Chorley Remembers project and I hope people take time to visit the three sites across the town centre, particularly the exhibition, which opens on Saturday.”