Call for historic Beckets Park pavilion to be restored to former glory after 'years of uncertainty'

Park friends group wants to work with Northampton council to turn 1920s building into community hub

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 5:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 5:24 pm

The nearly 100-year-old pavilion in Beckets Park should be restored to its former glory after many months of uncertainty, according to the park's friends group.

The building, which was built in the early 1920s and was most recently used as a cafe, closed to the public after the leaseholder died in 2017 and is in a state of disrepair.

Buddies of Beckets (BOB) has been asking Northampton Borough Council about the pavilion's future since the closure but has now been offered to discuss the plans with officers.

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The pavilion in Beckets Park has been closed since the leaseholder died in 2017

Chairman Nick Stephens said: "This is really positive news and Buddies of Beckets looks forward to working with the council to ensure the pavilion is saved and becomes a useful community asset in the park.”

The majority of people BOB asked in an 'extensive' consultation two years ago said they wanted new toilets and a place to meet in Beckets Park.

The group uses the pavilion as a store room but believes it could meet these needs and become a space for the community to enjoy.

While BOB's new charitable status means there are more ways it could fund improvements, the council's support is needed as the landowner.

BOB deputy chairman Luisa Jepson said: "It would be great, with support from the council and other partners, to get the pavilion open again for park users and the wider community.

"It has always been the focal point in the park and we know it needs some care and attention but with the political will, anything is possible."

A council spokesman said officers the pavilion is not in a safe condition for occupancy but they are aware of the concerns of BOB and others.

“The park and facilities remain a priority for us and are currently under review. We will keep the Buddies and all other interested parties informed of progress," the spokesman added.