Future uncertain for Gunnersbury Park

Park Committee says £120,000 is urgently needed

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Ealing Council


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Gunnersbury Park estate desperately needs a cash injection after years of ‘inadequate’ funding, according to a council report.

An extra £120,000 is needed right now to meet ‘the most urgent of the 18th century estate’s maintenance needs,’ says the Gunnersbury Park Joint Committee.

The old Rothchild estate is home to a museum, mansions, formal gardens, sports facilities, a bowling green and a pitch n' putt golf course. All are already looking pretty tired. The money would be put towards roof repairs, gutter clearing and underground water pipe fixing.

But where is the money going to come from? Councillors warned that the proposed 2007/08 budget is ‘perilously close to inadequacy’ and, if passed, ‘will do no more than attempt to keep the Park and its facilities surviving at a low level of (acceptable) activity.’

It is burdened with almost £400,000 of historic debt, and has been quoted building maintenance estimates that are ‘significantly higher’ than originally thought. Then add to this the cash needed to be invested in toilets, playgrounds and changing rooms on the site…

And it gets worse - in January Ealing Council voted to reduce their contribution to the running of the estate by £20,000. Hounslow looks set to cut its annual donation by a similar amount.

The park is maintained by Hounslow Council’s leisure arm CIP. In a bid to alleviate the spiralling financial situation, the park’s committee has proposed to reduce the amount paid to CIP by £66,000 and instigate a 14-year debt relief plan.

The park's future will be discussed at a meeting of the council's executive members on February 27.

February 27, 2007