Future of historic park and golf course now 'secure' after 123-year agreement

Knowsley Council has agreed to a 123 year lease for Bowring Park
-Credit: (Image: Liverpool Echo)

The long-term future of a hugely popular Merseyside park and golf course has now been secured after Knowsley Council confirmed a 123-year agreement.

Knowsley cabinet approved the transfer of the lease to Oneday Ltd following the successful completion of a two-year delivery plan which has resulted in a range of improvements to Bowring Park. A council spokesperson said the agreement will help to secure the long-term future of the 'historic' and popular green space.

Bowring Park was gifted to the city of Liverpool by William B Bowring in 1906 on the agreement that it would be “used for general recreation purposes …. for the benefit of the inhabitants of the city.” In 1997, the park was transferred from Liverpool City Council and this facilitated the establishment of the Bowring Park Trust charity of which Knowsley Council became the sole corporate trustee and freehold owner of the whole park.

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A partnership between Knowsley Council and The National Heritage Lottery Fund in 2017 saw significant funds investment ploughed into the park. This included a £3.686m restoration project and the refurbishment of the historic stable block and coach house and provision for a community hub for events and activities.

However, just a year later the park's future was plunged into doubt after the company running Bowring Park Golf Course went into administration. In an attempt to bring some stability, Knowsley Council made the decision to take over the management of the day-to-day operations until a new management agent could be found.

This resulted in the local authority approving a two year management lease to Oneday Ltd with the possibility of an extension. This two year contract has now concluded and Oneday have now been granted a new 123-year lease to take care of the park. Notably, the local authority still holds the freehold to the land.

Bowring Park Golf Course.
Bowring Park Golf Course. -Credit:LIVERPOOL ECHO

The agreement includes an agreement for One day to maintain the Bowring Park, deliver an agreed community engagement programme and provide a food and beverage offer on site. Oneday have also committed to completing a restoration project, opening a community café, developing the golf course and new job creation.

Oneday also hope to deliver their ‘GROW’ master plan, which outlines the long-term vision for the park and includes the creation of a Sustainability Campus for the Liverpool City Region, as well as achieving Green Flag status for Bowring Park.

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