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Article date - 21 July 2017
The park is among a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces that have received a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.
This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
The historic park and Grade II listed Mansion House have benefitted from over £3 million secured through the Heritage Lottery Fund, with many of its original features – dating back to the 1850s – repaired and restored in recent years.
St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Green, Smart and Sustainable Borough, Councillor Terry Shields, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Victoria Park has again received a Green Flag Award, for the third year in a row.
“We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Victoria Park to such a high standard. Many thanks to all the partners involved in making Victoria Park such a great leisure space, especially the devoted community groups like Friends of Victoria Park.”
International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.
“Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.”
About Victoria Park:
It is the last park in the borough where the original manor house survives – those at Sherdley, Taylor and Haresfinch parks are now long gone.
The pond, folly and formal garden features date back to 1847 the land then owned by John Speakman. In 1849-50 John Ansdell built the house which was anticipated as part of the original private development after John Speakmans death.
It was designed by Edward Kemp, the landscape architect who also designed St Helens Cemetery.
Sir David Gamble – chemical magnate, philanthropist and St Helens’ first elected mayor – donated the land in 1887 where the gate lodge now sits.
The Mansion House, City Road Lodge and folly are all individually Grade II listed structures, and the gate pillars and Doulton fountain are also historically significant.
St Helens’ first public museum was in the Mansion House with the famous wood-carved tiger at the entrance.
A beloved community asset, the park and house are now home to Age UK Mid Mersey, the Friends of Victoria Park group (www.friendsofvictoriapark.org), the popular St Helens Parkrun every Saturday (www.parkrun.org.uk/sthelens), and a host of other events.
More information: www.sthelens.gov.uk/victoriapark