Published: March 16, 2011
Work starts on £410,000 revamp of Burnham-On-Sea's Marine Cove

A major project to refurbish Burnham-On-Sea's Marine Cove Gardens has got started this week.

Work to restore the seafront gardens to their former glory began on Monday (March 14th) and is scheduled to be completed in September.

The project is being part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which last year awarded £344,200 to enable it to go ahead.

Harley Cook, from Sedgemoor District Council, who is overseeing the overhaul, told "After three years of work on this project, it’s exciting to see the contractors beginning the refurbishment this week."

"The work will include installing new paving, walls, shelters, bins, seating and water features such as the fountain and fish ponds plus landscaping. It will superb when it’s finished."

He added: "The work is due to last 23 weeks and be completed this September when an opening ceremony will be held."

Harley added that a new community gardener has recently been appointed to maintain the gardens and run various events in the future.

The project has also received funding from Sedgemoor District Council (£35,000), Burnham and Highbridge Town Council (£14,500) and Viridor Credits (£16,000).

The project originally kicked off in June 2008 with the development of a Round One lottery funding application bid.

The Heritage Lottery Fund made an announcement in June 2009 that it had awarded the project development costs.

This, in turn, allowed the council to submit its Round Two application in February 2010, which was ultimately successful.

The gardens opened to the public in 1927 and their central feature was an Art Deco-style goldfish pond. The park was originally inspired by the Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll designed garden at nearby Hestercombe. The gardens have declined in recent years, having been subjected to vandalism.

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: "Thanks to our investment, work to restore Marine Cove Gardens can now begin, halting the recent decline, and ensuring that the gardens can be enjoyed by local people from across the community."

Pictured (from top) is work starting at Marine Cove this week; the Sedgemoor team behind the project; and, above, an artist's impression of how the park will look


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