If given the go ahead at the county council’s cabinet meeting on July 19, this second phase of transformation to the county’s country parks will see investment in modernising facilities and improving catering.
During the first phase, the programme was highly successful at attracting external funding, which increased the total budget by £3.2m (25 per cent).
This has allowed a significant increase in the scope of the proposed overall programme, with phase two proposals now based on a reinvestment of £2.3m between the four respective sites.
Following his decision day on May 10, Andrew Gibson, executive member for culture, recreation and countryside, said: “The first phase of improvements is progressing really well with both Lepe Country Park and the chapel project at Royal Victoria Country Park on schedule to open this summer.
“This second phase is set to improve facilities and extend the range of activities on offer. This will attract more people to visit, stay longer and return, which is already evident from earlier improvements.
“The overall, once-in-a-generation investment will help our countryside sites become self-sustaining so that they can be enjoyed by future generations for years to come.”
The re-investment would see:
* £900,000 spent on the Empire Room at Royal Victoria Country Park to refurbish and preserve the heritage of the building and create a new restaurant that will provide a wider variety of food choices and a larger seating area;
* £500,000 allocated to the farm at Staunton Country Park to improve and modernise the catering facilities, toilets, welcome area, the glasshouse and range of activities at the farm;
* £500,000 at Manor Farm to expand the car park, create a weather-proof play area and create a new catering facility;
* £400,000 spent at Queen Elizabeth Country Park to transform the visitor centre with a new kiosk, expand the car park, a new workshop for staff and volunteers, match funding to provide a bike hire facility and improve landscaping.