Major new initiative for Chichester’s popular Priory Park is agreed

Cricket action at Priory Park
Cricket action at Priory Park

A major new initiative designed to help achieve badly-needed improvements in Chichester’s Priory Park has been agreed by city councillors.

This follows indications that proposals put forward by the district council, which owns the park, would be unlikely to get Heritage Lottery Fund support.

Cllr Richard Plowman, chairman of the city finance committee, said a series of recommendations before the city council would give a stimulus to what was needed.

“At the moment, we’re just going round in circles,” he declared.

The district council had been told that to qualify for heritage funding, the park would have to be changed to a situation where it was unacceptable to people who used it.

Cllr Plowman added: “We are reaching a point where lack of investment in the park is getting to a stage where it will start to be misused.”

The main thing people had said they wanted was for the park to be secure.

Cllr Plowman thought it might be that the only way to make it secure was by railings, and he believed some form of metal fencing was necessary.

A cafe was needed, and the only way to get this was to release the social building in the park, he said.

Cllr Tony Dignum said he fully supported the set of recommendations.

The first in a series of sequential steps should be to get a new cricket pavilion in the park, and they were looking to the cricket club to use its earnest endeavours to raise money. Hopefully, there would be money from Sports England.