Consultants appointed for £2million Hermitage Park project

Published Date: 

18 Nov 2014 - 14:44

Gillespies to take the development phase of the project forward

We are eager to involve local people in the process

In early January Argyll and Bute Council, working with the Friends of Hermitage Park, received confirmation from the Heritage Lottery Fund that their bid for a grant of up to £2,087,000 to regenerate Argyll and Bute’s only urban park had received first round approval.

This first round approval includes a grant of £169,700 to carry out the development phase of the project.

Some construction work has already taken place, with the council’s amenity services team removing an unsightly wall around the shelter within the park which has drastically improved the look of the area. 

Part of the initial grant will pay for Gillespies to develop a whole park plan which will include proposals for the A listed monument and memorial gardens, investigative works to deal with the problems of flooding and erosion and a community consultation process.

A leading landscape practice, Gillespies has worked on some very complex and high-profile design projects, from St Andrew Square in Edinburgh to Razdory Central Park in Moscow. An award winning firm admired for its masterplanning, landscape architecture and urban design, they have a reputation for applying creative design techniques to enhancing public spaces.

Jon Simmons, Gillespies’ project manager for the Hermitage Park project, said: ‘’We are delighted to have won the commission to take forward the Heritage Lottery submission for Hermitage Park. Surrounded by a team of talented professionals we are aware of the sensitivities associated with the park and the high regard in which it is held by locals and visitors alike. Our approach to landscape design is linked to our core values: design stems from an awareness and appreciation of placemaking. It is through understanding, interpreting and revealing the inherent qualities of an area that the practice can contribute to the creation of a dynamic and holistic plan for the redevelopment of the park.’’

The council’s Executive Director for Development and Infrastructure, Pippa Milne, said of the appointment: ‘’We are thrilled to have such a renowned consulting firm on board for the development phase of this exciting £2million investment project. This background work is vitally important to ensuring the second stage application is successful and we can move forward with the physical works to bring the park back to its former glory.’’

The development phase will end with the submission of the stage two application in August 2015.   

As well as the HLF grant, the Friends of Hermitage Park community group have committed to raising a further £20,000 towards the project and will be holding a number of events in the coming months, with details to follow.

To get involved in the project please contact our Project Development Officer, Melissa Simpson at melissa.simpson@argyll-bute.gov.uk