Chichester District Council will be removing outdated buildings, including an old storage and maintenance area, with the aim of updating facilities and opening up the area to help improve views and accessibility.

Councillor Martyn Bell, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council, said: "We are pleased to have reached this stage of the project, where we can update and enhance the north west corner of the park for the benefit of everyone who uses it.

"Over the past few years, we have been liaising closely with groups and organisations about ways in which we can improve the park's facilities. The aim was to see how we can make better use of the buildings and space.

"Work will start on Monday 23 March to remove an old depot building and to landscape the area. This will include a new footpath linking the sensory garden, by the north west entrance, to the rest of the park.

"The work is expected to last around four weeks, subject to weather conditions. A small area of the park will need to be cordoned off while the work takes place, but Priory Park will be open as usual. This means that people can still enjoy the play area, bowls green, cricket pitch, café, and guildhall. The public conveniences will also be unaffected.

"As part of this project, we have already repaired and restored the park's much loved Coade statue. This work was carried out by specialists with experience in restoring this type of stone, in the autumn of last year. The statue, which has been in place since 1873, is an important feature of Priory Park, and this refurbishment ensures it will continue to be enjoyed for years to come.

Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for Environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council, adds: "Priory Park is one of Chichester's hidden gems and we know that the planned improvements will only add to the enjoyment of those that visit.

"As a council, we maintain 94 different parks, gardens and green spaces across the district. All of these are free to visit and provide opportunities to improve health, enjoy nature, relax and unwind, and to play and have fun." 

Cllr Bell says: "In 2018, the council's Cabinet considered a number of enhancements to this area of Priory Park. Proposals to carry out further improvements are being investigated further. We will continue to liaise with all the groups involved and keep people updated on the next planned phase of improvements."

Date of release: 16 March 2020

Reference: 3864