MP impressed with new management at Clare country park

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge with Geoffrey Bray at Clare Castle Country Park ANL-151027-091657001
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge with Geoffrey Bray at Clare Castle Country Park ANL-151027-091657001

With the trustees of Clare Castle Country Park soon to find out if their Heritage Lottery Grant bid has been successful, their work has been praised by the MP for South Suffolk.

James Cartlidge visited the park last week where he saw the extent of the work carried out by the Clare Castle Country Park Trust, which has been managing the 36-acre park on behalf of Clare Town Council since it took over the ownership from Suffolk County Council in March.

The Trust is an independent charity which has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the park including its green spaces and woodland, the children’s play area, the car park, the listed railway buildings and the castle remains.

It has more than 100 volunteers that help manage and maintain the park

After walking through the park with trustees Geoffrey Bray and Keith Haisman and being briefed about Trust’s work, Mr Cartlidge said: “I am delighted to see that this project is progressing so well.

“Clare Castle Country Park is a fantastic resource for the people of Clare, and an excellent example of the government’s localism policy working to put community members at the heart of community projects.

“I would like to congratulate the team on all of their great work so far and wish them well with their Heritage Lottery Grant bid.”

The trustees have refurbished the dilapidated buildings and the house and office areas are already let and generating income.

The former goods shed has been refurbished and is now available for community use while the park can also be hired for small or large events.

The trustees will learn in November whether the first stage of their Lottery bid, which could be worth close to £2million, has succeeded.