21 Sep 2021 10:59
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Rivington Terraced Gardens welcome judges from the Civic Trust Awards this week in a bid to secure funding for ongoing restoration work at the historic beauty spot.


An army of hundreds of volunteers helping with clearance and maintenance work to restore the attraction to its former glory have made the entry possible, with 70,000 hours of volunteers’ time racked up over five years.


Their amazing efforts have enabled The Trust to qualify with a match funding notional figure, which would have been in excess of £500,000 if the pandemic lockdown and the ravages of the Winter Hill fire in 2018 hadn’t delayed the project.


Evidence of community engagement was also essential for qualification, and the Trust’s hugely successful ‘Squarea’ fundraising campaign, which enables supporters to purchase a virtual plot of land in the Gardens and a series of events such as guided walks, historical talks and craft workshops ensured that the charity met all the entry requirements.


The massive volunteer contribution also saved around £90,000 on the original contract and allowed the restoration of the Great Lawn and Tennis Lawn, which was not part of the original costings. In dedication of their efforts, a replica sundial was installed on the Orchestral Lawn – again made possible by their outstanding work.


Andrew Suter, Heritage Projects Manager at Rivington Terraced Gardens, says: “We are indebted to our amazing volunteers who have made applying for The Civic Trusts Awards a reality.


“85% of the team are local, but we have people coming to help from as far away as Anglesey and Leeds, mainly because they used to live around here. We have all ages pitching in, from 5 to 88 and everything in between. They are brilliant and we can’t thank them enough.”


The restoration project has made it possible for the Gardens’ fundraising events programme to re-commence post lockdown. The popular ‘Festival of Light’ returns in October, with organisers adding Thursday 28th as an extra night as tickets for the following Friday and Saturday sold out in days. Tickets for this half-term spectacle of light, live music, sculptures and delicious food are still available from www.rivingtonterracedgardens.org.uk


The Civic Trust Awards have recognised more than 7000 domestic and international projects since 1959. These range from small community projects to larger internationally recognised buildings, bridges, infrastructure, public realm and public art. For more information, visit www.civictrustawards.co.uk


About Rivington Terraced Gardens

Regarded as one of Britain’s most important historical gardens, Rivington Terraced Gardens were conceived and built by Lord Leverhulme, the soap magnate and founder of Lever Brothers (now Unilever) with the help of British garden designer, Thomas Hayton Mawson, between 1905 and 1925.


The area has undergone a transformation in recent years, thanks to the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and the work of hundreds of volunteers. Rivington Heritage Trust runs its events programme to raise conservation costs to preserve the Gardens.

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