Modern facilities for Hampshire's new-look country parks

As Hampshire County Council undertakes a once-in-a-generation investment to transform its country parks, yet more improvements to Royal Victoria Country Park, Queen Elizabeth Country Park and the farms at Staunton Country Park and Manor Farm have been announced.

If given the go-ahead at Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet meeting on 19 July, this second phase of transformation to the County’s country parks will see investment in modernising facilities and improving catering. In its first phase, the programme was highly successful at attracting external funding, which increased the total budget by £3.2m (25%). This has allowed a significant increase in the scope of the proposed overall programme, with phase 2 proposals now based on a re-investment of £2.3 million between the four sites

Following his decision day on 10 May, Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Councillor Andrew Gibson, said: “The first phase of improvements is progressing really well with both Lepe Country Park and the Chapel project at Royal Victoria Country Park on schedule to open this summer. This second phase is set to improve facilities and extend the range of activities on offer.  This will attract more people to visit, stay longer and return, which is already evident from earlier improvements.

“The overall once-in-a-generation investment will help our countryside sites become self-sustaining so that they can be enjoyed by future generations for years to come.”

The re-investment would see:

£900,000 spent on the Empire Room at Royal Victoria Country Park to refurbish and preserve the heritage of the building and create a new restaurant that will provide a wider variety of food choices and a larger seating area.
£500,000 allocated to the farm at Staunton Country Park to improve and modernise the catering facilities, toilets, welcome area, the glasshouse and range of activities held at the farm.
£500,000 at Manor Farm to expand the car park, create a weather proof play area and create a new catering facility.
£400,000 spent at Queen Elizabeth Country Park to transform the visitor centre with a new kiosk, expand the car park, a new workshop for staff and volunteers, match funding to provide a bike hire facility and improve landscaping.

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