Explore, Discover, Learn- enhancing opportunities to access and celebrate Leavesden Country Park’s rich heritage awarded National Lottery support

19th December 2017

Three Rivers District Council has received a confirmed grant of £582,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the next phase of this project and all thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. Additional funds have been committed from the Council’s Section 106 Agreement funding and from Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, who proudly support the project as a creative partner, bringing the project total to £1.1m.

This project aims to create a unique local heritage site of interest, intrigue and beauty in Leavesden Country Park.

A Heritage Trail, known as Minds, Machines, Movies with sculptures and interpretation boards based on the site's heritage of the Leavesden Hospitals, Leavesden Aerodrome and Leavesden Studios, will be nestled into the south of the park . A Heritage Wildlife Centre, a base for the Park Ranger and Heritage groups, is planned as a Heritage and Wildlife hub.

The project also includes conserving and restoring key historic features, such as the Lychgate and font, and improving access across the open space. A Remembrance Garden for those who lived and worked in the Leavesden Hospitals will be created for all to enjoy. Through the activities of the Park Ranger, the wildlife and biodiversity of the park will be expanded within the project, along with an enhanced understanding of the Heritage in the local area. 

These new developments will be underpinned with an exciting activity plan that aims to celebrate the environment and heritage of the site. The three year activity plan will provide volunteering and training opportunities for the community to engage with and take pride in.

There is a real sense of warmth and affection based on memories from the Leavesden Hospitals, the aerodrome and the film studios. Everyone you meet has a story to tell. We are aware that these memories are time sensitive and need to be captured for present and future generations. Three Rivers District Council, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and HLF are delighted to be part of this vision.

warner-bros.jpgCommenting on the award, Leader of the Council, Councillor Sara Bedford said: “Three Rivers District Council are delighted to be joining with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in this exciting and creative project.  This partnership funding will enable us to recognise the social and industrial past, present and future of the Leavesden and Abbots Langley community, and enable future generations to share in the rich heritage of the area. I’d like to thank all local residents who have joined with staff to work on this project and make it such a great success.”

Dan Dark, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Warner Bros Studio Leavesden said “'We are delighted to partner with Three Rivers District Council to help create this exciting project for the local community”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re delighted to support this project which will bring the varied heritage of Leavesden Country Park to life for people of all ages. From exploring the history of the hospital and aerodrome and making connections with the park’s wildlife to building a creative partnership with the film studios – there is an exciting future in store for this project!”