Around Ealing February 2018 | Page 9

SPORT AND HERITAGE Past meets Gunnersbury Park is entering a new era as a project to painstakingly restore its heritage nears fruition and work begins soon to create a large ‘hub’ for sport, Dan Stephens reports. W ork is due to start in February on the new sports facilities; and local people will eventually be able to take their pick from a huge range of activities. It will boast a multi-use sports centre with a gym; two outdoor floodlit artificial grass pitches; new tennis courts; and natural grass cricket and football pitches. When it opens to the public in spring 2019, it will be one of the largest outdoor sporting facilities in London. THAT IS NOT ALL Joint owners Ealing and Hounslow councils have been working to bring the park’s grounds and future historical buildings to life over the last year, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Big Lottery Fund and Historic England. This spring, the park’s museum is due to reopen in the Grade II listed large mansion house; a new café will also open, in which you will be able to view the Rothschild’s horse-drawn carriages. Restoration of the other heritage structures dotted across the parkland has also taken place, including the Orangery; the temple; Princess Amelia’s Bathhouse; the gothic ruins; the Round Pond; and the Horseshoe Pond. Council leader Julian Bell said: “This ambitious project is bringing Gunnersbury Park’s past and future together with state-of-the-art sports facilities alongside renovation of the park’s beautiful and historically significant buildings and landscape.” Read the full story at features/gunnersbury-park Artists' impression of the new sports centre around ealing    February 2018 9