Gunnersbury Park Refurb Hit By Delays and Funding Shortfall

Easter opening of museum now the target but £1 million needed to complete work

Significant progress has been made on exterior of large mansion

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The £21 million upgrade of Gunnersbury Park has been hit by further delays and has a £1 million funding shortage according to a report on the progress of the works.

The report which is due to be submitted to the Gunnersbury Park Joint Advisory Panel on 6 October by David Stockdale from Hounslow Council and Bridget Gregory from Ealing states that the first phase of the scheme is 23 weeks behind schedule.

The Museum was due to reopen to the public this year but now the aim is to allow visitors back in for the Easter Holidays with 26 March 2018 pencilled in for a soft launch. It is hoped to have work completed on the site by 22 February.

The target dates are described as ‘challenging’ as the museum team will have just over a month to install up to 450 objects and get the building ready to welcome visitors and school children anticipated to use the facility via organised trips. A firmer, more formal announcement of opening will be made later in the year as the certainty of the scheduled February works completion is established.

The report also states that there is still a capital funding gap of around £ 1 million on the Phase 1 works (Heritage Grant and Parks for People Grant projects) and Hounslow and Ealing Councils are asking the Heritage Lottery Fund to meet the shortfall. At a previous meeting of the advisory panel Val Bott had noted that the Development Trust had experienced difficulties in securing funding, due largely to the delay in setting up the charity, which resulted in work starting on fundable projects, which then meant that they were no longer eligible for grants.

The café opening is also delayed from its original projected start of August 2017. For what are described as operational reasons linked to the delay of the museum opening Benugo, the company which has the contract to run the café, are unable to take up operation until 8 January. The temporary kiosk in the park will continue to operate until that date.

September 30, 2017

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