Published on 2nd November 2011
The redesign of Imperial Gardens has started following extensive consultations over the summer months by Cheltenham Borough Council.
On Tuesday 25 October councillors agreed to move forward with the proposed improvements to the gardens.
A total of £145,000 has been allocated for the project, which is due to be completed by April 2012.
The increase in size and popularity of the Cheltenham Festivals has meant essential improvements are needed to accommodate more marquees and people in Imperial Gardens.
Work has started this week with the planting of a new pattern of flower beds and the installation of a decorative seating area to the front of the garden bar.
Further works will include:
- adding more trees in the centre of the gardens to define the garden bar drinking area and create shade for users of the park, as well creating a tree-lined avenue through the upper tier of the gardens
- restore and open up the Skillicorne gardens as a paved garden with a central pond adjacent to the garden bar.
- two new benches places around the Gustav Holst statue and an existing bench will be moved to overlook the new bedding areas
- easier access for delivery vehicles to enter the park and speed up construction time for the festival
The Friends of Imperial Square and Gardens are also fund-raising to reinstate railings which were removed in the 1940s, to rejuvenate the gardens' historic past.
Councillor Roger Whyborn Cabinet Member for Sustainability said "This is an exciting stage in the development of both Imperial Gardens, and of Cheltenham's position as a Festival town. Our aim is to create a Festival in a Garden atmosphere during the festival periods, and to enhance the gardens all year round - gardens which have been described as the jewel in Cheltenham's crown."