cliffe helpers

A charity helping people with mental health problems has been pitching in with the restoration of Cliffe Castle Park.

A joint venture between Bradford Council, Shipley College’s horticultural social enterprise Bradford Works, and the Cellar Trust has seen the charity’s clients working to maintain and improve the grounds.

The weekly venture sees the clients carrying out all sorts of gardening activities, learning practical skills they can use in the workplace.

an Palmer, Bradford Council’s Heritage Parks Officer, said: “The group is really eager to get stuck in. I’ll be working alongside them to plant the numerous historically accurate species we are putting in as part of the restoration.”

Kim Shutler-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the Cellar Trust, said: “We are really pleased to be able to extend our horticulture provision as part of the Cliffe Castle park development.

“The partnership means that our clients can build their confidence and skills across a broader range of activities.”

Philip Rushworh, Secretary of the Cliff Castle Park Conservation Group, said: “This is a great scheme that will enhance the park and we are happy that those carrying out the work will benefit as much as those seeing the results.”

Work on the £4.5 million restoration of Keighley’s Cliffe Castle Park is on track to be completed this summer.

Recently the ornamental gates to the park on the Skipton Road entrance have been replaced after restoration.

The bandstand roof has been completed and work is carrying on inside the building and other projects will see the statues around the fountain restored to prime condition.

Bradford Council successfully bid for £3.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s “Parks for People” programme started back in June 2016 to carry out the work.

The project, supported thanks to National Lottery players, has been designed with support from volunteers in the Cliffe Castle Park Conservation Group.

Bradford Council is also going to spend £200,000 on essential stonework repairs and restoration of a staircase and façade of the Cliffe Castle Museum building to reverse deterioration and protect the decorative stained glass windows.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “It’s really important to get many groups of people involved in the restoration of the park, especially where it can provide practical therapy for our helpers.

“We are getting really excited as the project gets closer to its completion and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors to what will be a wonderful attraction in the area.”

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