Knowsley Council are looking to appoint a managing agent at Bowring Park to ensure its future success and sustainability.
Bowring Park has been the beneficiary of extensive renovations resulting in £3.7m investment to repair, renovate and restore key infrastructure and heritage areas of the site. That investment has only been possible with a contribution of £1.8m by Knowsley Council, a grant of a £1.9m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, £25,000 from the Government Pocket Parks Fund, and £50,000 from the Landfill Trust.
As a result of this major investment, the sensitive restoration of the historical fabric and features at the park has lead to a number of significant improvements. Work to restore the garden spaces has seen a full reconstruction of the stone staircases and ornamental planters in ‘The Dell’. Landscaping works in the walled gardens have readied the walkways and beds for horticultural students from Myerscough College to begin using the space in spring and a new carpark and link road opened earlier this year.
In 2018, the council stepped in to save the employees from being made redundant whilst ensuring the popular golf course – one of the oldest municipal courses in the country – could continue to operate following the collapse of the private sector company that ran it, but this was always intended to be an interim measure.
The council has decided to secure new management arrangements by seeking to appoint a new managing agent to not only take on the responsibility for the golf course but for the whole of the Bowring Park site.
The search is on
John Flaherty, Knowsley Council’s Executive Director for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: “We know how much our parks and open spaces matter to our communities and Bowring Park is a fantastic asset with the potential to attract visitors from across the City Region and beyond, whilst delivering real benefits for all parts of the local community.
“We are seeking a like-minded, co-operative partner who possesses the commercial acumen, investment potential and pro-social/ environmental credentials we need to significantly move this project forward.
“This is a unique and exciting opportunity for us to strengthen the team working on securing the future of Bowring Park. We envisage that the opportunity to get involved in a project like this will be incredibly appealing and we would hope to be able to secure a skilled and experienced team to support us.”
A vision for the future
At the heart of the council’s aspirations is a desire to ensure that Bowring Park becomes a ‘place for all’ with a multi-functioning recreational space that the community can utilise to improve their own health and wellbeing.
Plans for the park include a new café, a community space, meeting facilities offices and a refurbished golf course as well as being able to offer unique events and heritage walks, build educational links with schools and colleges and create volunteering opportunities for the local community.