£1M for UCL Gardens

Backdated from previous BA Website

£1 million-plus facelift for the University Gardens The Estates Division has been successful in its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding towards improvements to Gordon & Woburn Square Gardens, following years of preparation.

The Estates Division has been successful in its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding towards improvements to Gordon & Woburn Square Gardens, following years of preparation.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the University a grant of £998,500 to restore Gordon Square and Woburn Square to their original Georgian glory. Additional funding for the project will also come from the Wolfson Foundation and English Heritage, together with contributions from the central University and the Bloomsbury colleges.

First laid out as formal spaces in the 1830s, the squares have fallen into disrepair in recent years, and are experiencing problems with antisocial behaviour. The restoration project will focus on replacing missing historic features, improving paths, planting new trees, shrubs and rose beds, replacing furniture, and enclosing the gardens with railings based on the original design. We will also attempt to promote greater local community use. When the project is complete both squares will be open seven days a week.

New play equipment will be provided in Woburn Square’s playground. The existing summerhouse in Woburn Square and gardener’s building in Gordon Square will be refurbished, with the latter converted into a refreshments kiosk.

In addition to physical work, new signage and information boards describing the history of each square will be erected, and leaflets produced to explain the importance of their historical and natural heritage. A Bloomsbury heritage trail leaflet will also be produced, highlighting areas of interest between the British Museum and the Gardens. The University will employ an Education Development Officer for one year to oversee all heritage and nature conservation activities, encourage use of the spaces, and get schools involved through a learning pack.

Torrington Square

Work is also about to start on improving Torrington Square.

The work will involve completion of a new terrace outside the extension to Birkbeck College’s Main Building, and refurbishment of the surfaces to the Square, which will be a mix of green spaces and hard landscaping. The intention is to create a stylish open space for students, staff and visitors to enjoy.

The work on the Squares will revitalise and restore the gardens and the University Precinct to ensure their sustainability for future years.

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