Motorway money used to restore historic buildings

Gunnersbury Park mansion

Money put aside for reducing the road network’s impact on the historic environment is being used to revitalise historic buildings.

Highways England has awarded £340,000 to Gunnersbury Park – a 75-hectare park near the M4 motorway in West London.

In 2009, eight of the listed buildings in the park were placed on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register. There are 22 listed buildings in the park, many of which have fallen into disrepair.

The Highways England cash is being put towards securing three of the threatened buildings. The plan is to transform them into cultural and artistic facilities for the local community.

Last year, Highways England awarded £90,000 towards the cost of specialist surveys of the small mansion and stable buildings. Now, a further £250,000 has been allocated to the cost of repair.

In the future, Gunnersbury Park will boast a multi-million-pound sports hub, offering tennis, football, cricket, gym facilities and angling to local people.

‘Derelict for decades’

Highways England cash restoring old buildings

Highways England principal cultural heritage advisor Jim Hunter said: “I am delighted that Highways England has been able to contribute to this scheme which will help ensure a sustainable future for this beautiful park and its important buildings for generations to come.

“We believe in operating and improving our roads in a way that protects and supports people and the things we value for our quality of life, and helping to enhance the historic environment on or close to our road network is what our Designated Fund for Cultural Heritage is all about.”

Emily Gee, Historic England’s regional director for London and the South East, added: “These special historic buildings within Gunnersbury Park have been derelict for decades and it’s wonderful that they are set to be transformed into cultural and arts facilities for the local community.

“We are delighted that Highways England’s funding has helped to secure the future of this precious landscape together with the commitment of Ealing and Hounslow councils.”

The fund is part of a £675 million fund allocated to Highways England over a five-year period from 2015. Its aim is to mitigate the road network’s impact, focusing on air quality, the environment, cycling, safety, integration and innovation.

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