Malvern Town Council makes plans for investment in improved facilities at Victoria Park
Victoria Park, owned and managed by Malvern Town Council, provides a variety of leisure facilities used by both local residents as well as those who travel from further afield. Its play area is one of the largest in Malvern and is incredibly well used throughout the year.
Recently, the Town Council has been installing new basketball courts at Victoria Park with the new word-class surfacing due to be laid in mid-August ahead of its official opening at the end of that month. The Council will also be looking at the relocation and upgrading of the very popular skatepark facility within the park.
At the heart of Victoria Park is the pavilion. This has, in the past, provided changing facilities for sports teams, a café and public toilets, but it is now in urgent need of upgrading to provide the standard of facilities needed for this “destination” park and to fulfil the requirements of the local community. The current pavilion has sadly become obsolete. Its poor build quality has resulted in ever increasing maintenance costs, its layout is no longer suited to users’ needs and the poor positioning and visibility of and around the building has led to vandalism and antisocial behaviour. The public toilets in particular are very poorly situated, and the constant vandalism has led to problems with keeping them open.
Back in December 2018, Malvern Town Councillors agreed that a bold and imaginative scheme should be drawn up to redevelop the pavilion at Victoria Park. As a result, Malvern Town Council Councillors formed a Task and Finish Group to look at what should happen to the Victoria Park Pavilion.
Having agreed that the building was not suitable for refurbishment, Council initially agreed a new single-storey, high-quality, eco-friendly pavilion to include a café, meeting room, sports changing rooms and public toilets, at a cost of £600,000. But last November, Full Council decided to consider a possible larger project with increased scope for community facilities at Victoria Park.
As the concept and design for this building progressed, members of the task and finish group suggested that as part of this new building, the Town Council offices should be moved and incorporated as a second floor to the building. The Town Council Offices on Belle Vue Terrace are currently not ideally located for members of the public to visit, their relocation to Victoria Park would allow staff to better serve the local community and be on site to manage the park’s leisure facilities. A new building with a café and offices would also provide an onsite presence at the park to help reduce antisocial behaviour, and an eco-friendly building would also help to support the Council’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions in the long term.
To finance this project, if approved, Councillors will be asked to consider the budget spend and funding options. A total spend for a new pavilion and with offices would be approximately £1.5 million, funded partly by Council reserves, and with a low interest loan which could be reduced by the sale of the Council’s current offices on Belle Vue Terrace.
Malvern Town Council is holding an Extraordinary Meeting on Thursday 29th July at the Eden Centre, Grovewood Road, Malvern at 6pm to consider a Task and Finish group recommendation to replace the existing Victoria Park Pavilion at a cost of £1.5m.
The meeting is open to the public and there will be an opportunity to listen to why Malvern Town Council is considering what is probably its largest investment since its inception. There will also be a chance for members of the public to ask questions. When Council have agreed the scope and budget for the project, there will be a period of public consultation for local residents to make comments on what they would like to see as part of the new building.