Abbots Langley Leisure Project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

21st July 2016

leavesden-country-park-2.jpgThree Rivers District Council has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Explore, Discover, Learn Abbots Langley Leisure Project it was announced today.  Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will enhance leisure, play, sport and culture together with opportunities to access and celebrate the community’s rich heritage rich heritage.

Development funding of £49,200 has been awarded to help Three Rivers District Council and their partners on the steering group to progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.  This will mean that work now commences on the project enabling a phased approach.

A Communities Activities Programme will be developed to include sessions covering memory and reminiscing workshops, historical walks, art and culture events together with volunteering and skills training opportunities.  The restoration and conservation plans will be researched and commissioned with work commencing in 2017. 

The vision for the project is to collaboratively create a heritage trail of statement sculptures to celebrate and recognise the Leavesden Hospitals, the history of aviation at Leavesden Aerodrome and the story of Leavesden Film Studios.  In addition there will be extensive restoration and conservation of vital areas of the park to ensure the heritage and beauty can be enhanced for future generations to enjoy.

A further legacy of the project will be the Heritage Wildlife Centre where a dedicated Park Ranger for Leavesden Country Park will be available to conduct a wide range of community educational sessions and an app will be developed for self-guided history walks.

It is hoped that by engaging the local community in these activities, a wide variety of stories, experiences and shared heritage will emerge and continue to develop for years to come.

The Parish of Abbots Langley is steeped in history being mentioned in the Domesday Book dating back to 1086, all of which is documented by the two local historical societies who are partners in the project. Many local residents, are still connected directly or by family members to the history of the parish, the Leavesden Hospitals, Leavesden Aerodrome and Leavesden Studios which remain a genuine point of interest.

Councillor Lloyd, Lead Member for Leisure, Community and Wellbeing said “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this amazing project support to complement Three Rivers District Council Section 106 funding.  It will enable us to offer an exciting opportunity to contribute to a full spectrum of heritage development programmes and lifelong experiences leading to an improved quality of life for the community and visitors to the Parish of Abbots Langley.”