Thursday, 10 April 2014

Southport Kings Gardens renovations - almost complete (but not quite open)

There's a front page report in this week's Southport Champion that demonstrates just how eager parents are to let their children play on the new Kings Garden playground.  The site isn't yet complete and surrounded by 6ft steel barriers, but that's not stopping crowds of families enjoying the facility before it's officially open.

My aim isn't to comment on that or point fingers - the rights and wrongs of what's happening are for others to debate and determine.  What interests me is the sheer scale of interest in the regeneration of Southport's classic gardens, and the clear need for what the improvements are bringing.

The Kings Gardens playground is an amazing feature for younger users of the gardens and will undoubtedly become a firm favourite in the playground repertoire of local and visiting children alike, with zip lines, bridges, high-level walkways and slides.  But that's just one part of the story.

Kings Gardens play area due to open Friday 11th April 2014

Millions has been spent on bringing this much loved piece of Southport's history back to its former glory whilst importantly up-keeping its Victorian credentials.  So many landmarks and features of the era that defined Southport as a seaside resort have been lost or been given such a contemporary twist that they've become a pastiche of Victoriana, but not so with Kings Gardens.

Today as I walked through the Gardens in lovely sunshine, I see the Venetian Bridge spanning the Marine Lake is still clad in scaffold, but close to reopening after months of pains-taking restoration care.

Marine Lake Venetian Bridge, Southport: almost ready for reopening.

New railings along the length of the Marine Lake are being given a fresh lick of heraldic green paint and the Victorian shelters that have given refuge to thousands over the generations are carefully being painted and glazed after total refurbishment.

Totally refurbished Victorian shelter.

Kings Gardens are a jewel in Southport's crown and the project to restore them is well on its way to completion.  To me, it looks great value for money and worthy of the effort the contractors have made.  I'm sure our guests will take their own pleasure from the Gardens - be that playground fun or a fabulous vista from a peaceful shelter.  Why not come and see for yourself?


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