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Wirksworth Town Council win £150,000 grant from UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) for The Meadow

In a boost to The Meadows Rejuvenation Project, Wirksworth Town Council is pleased to announce they have won a generous grant of £150,000 from the UKSPF. The funds became available following the release of money that had been allocated to the proposed conversion of the former market hall in Matlock, now on hold after two invitations to tender did not bring forward any acceptable or affordable proposals. As a result of its previous allocation, the UKSPF allocated money has to be spent by the end of March next year meaning the Town Council now has a tight deadline to work to.

This is a massive boost for The Meadows Project which the council has been administering since the purchase of the site in November 2019, but on which work was forced to pause due to the pandemic which began just a few months later. As of the end of 2023 however, following three public consultations and with the assistance of Sheffield-based landscape designers, Urban Wilderness, a design is now in place and the council are now in the process of recruiting the right contractor to take the project forward. With residents’ ideas at the heart of the design process, the new scheme will see large areas of wildflower meadow reinstated across the site, with small indigenous trees also integrated. New paths will be created, giving access to previously inaccessible areas and sturdy, architectural seating will be included. Other improvements will include:

- Upgrading the main paths, making them wider and accessible.

- Creating a new path north-west to south-east

- Coppicing the woodland and improving the eastern woodland path.

- Creating swales to improve drainage, help prevent flooding and encourage wildlife in a wetland setting.

- Enhancing the scrubland to the west to encourage more flora and fauna.

- A mown community space and natural amphitheatre.

- Natural play opportunities

-Accessible seating and picnic tables to allow residents to dwell.

It is hoped that work will begin on site in the summer with the major work due to be complete before the winter. The meadow itself will take up to 5 years to truly develop.

More information about the project can be found on the dedicated Meadows page on Wirksworth Town Council’s website here:

www.facebook. com/wirksworthtc/ www.wirksworthtown


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