Victoria Park (Widnes)
Steeped in history, Victoria Park is the main formal park in Widnes. Opened in 1900 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the park has seen many changes from its original design by William Barron. In its early existence, the park was bounded by fields on its eastern boundary and had magnificent views of the Mersey Estuary, Childwall Valley and the Welsh mountains. Today, the park is surrounded by housing and is the main focus for a broad spectrum of recreational activities. Between 2001 and 2004 improvements were carried out at Victoria Park, which included the installation of lighting, the upgrading of the glasshouse facility as a visitor attraction, the provision of a Skate/BMX facility and the creation of a dog exercise area. In June 2002 Halton Borough Council made a stage 1 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for money to restore Victoria Park to its former splendour and to put back the major features that had disappeared over the years such as the bandstand, fountain and lake. Halton was successful in this bid and progressed to a stage 2 bid which was accepted in late 2004. Restoration works commenced in 2005, progressing through to completion in September 2007.