South Ribble Council has started on site with the creation of St Catherine’s Park, the first of the new Central Parks to be delivered under the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire city deal.
St Catherine’s Park in Lostock Hall is being formed by joining together two pieces of land; the council-owned Dandy Brook Park and a plot belonging to St Catherine’s Hospice, with activity starting on site this week.
The two plots of land are currently separated by a brick wall, but will be linked by an ornamental heritage gateway and a specially-commissioned Inglis bridge.
The plans include a war memorial paying tribute to those who lost their lives in the First World War and a peace garden. There will also be a natural play area, information stations, carved wooden animals, and new parking spaces for cars and bicycles.
The peace garden and war memorial will sit in the corner of the park near to the Stanifield Lane roundabout. The centrepiece will be a 40ft monument, which will carry the names of more than 600 soldiers from South Ribble who lost their lives in battle.
It is the first time all of the names have been gathered together in one place by local historian Charlie O’Donnell, with the war memorial due to be opened at a dedication ceremony in time for Remembrance Day in November.
The grand opening of the complete park is scheduled for spring 2016.
Covering the borough of South Ribble, the Central Parks strategy will act as a framework for bringing together green spaces across the region. This will form the basis for a unified network of public green spaces that offer a wide range of opportunities for residents and visitors.
The park will be jointly funded by money from South Ribble Council’s capital budget as well as cash from the city deal pot.
St Catherine’s Park will be linked to the main Central Parks by public right of way.