Plans to build a memorial to Nelson Mandela in Princes Park are part of a raft of new proposals to improve some of South Liverpool’s most well-known parks.
The Nelson Mandela Memorial Campaign (Mandela8) wants to create a tribute on the lake island at Princes Park to tie in with what would have been the anti-apartheid revolutionary’s 100th birthday in 2018.
A report to be discussed by Liverpool City Council’s cabinet on Friday (17 March), is proposing £312,500 be spent to improve the lake surrounding the memorial’s proposed location including reinstating the water channel, fixing edging stones, putting in fishing platforms and ecological improvements.
Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, says: “The Nelson Mandela Memorial would be an exciting addition to Princes Park and help attract more people to spend time there.
“He was made a freeman of the city in 1994 and it is very fitting that Liverpool should be aiming to honour him, but it is equally vital that the area surrounding the memorial is improved.”
The plan is part of a package of proposals from the council costing more than £1 million which would also see improvements at Calderstones Park and Sefton Park.
At Calderstones Park, it is proposed that £140,000 is used to remove silt in the lake which has blocked watercourses and led to the closure of access for fishing. The lake bank would be reinstated and fishing platforms repaired and replaced.
Meanwhile in Sefton Park, plans are also in place for a new ‘vitality trail’ which will see a wide path with fitness equipment at regular intervals sited on the former 1.5km pony track. The ‘Fairy Glen’ water feature will also be refurbished and there will be repairs to the watercourse and drainage improvements.
The scheme will complement the already completed upgrade of Livingstone Drive car park, footpath repairs, tennis court refurbishment and improvements to the Oasis café and lakeside kiosk. The total cost of the work is £677,500.
Cllr Peter Mitchell, mayoral lead for parks, adds: “We have some of the finest parks in the country in Liverpool and we are committed to doing all we can to encouraging more people into them.”
An earlier plan for a sports and play area at Sefton Park has been placed on hold due to concerns over affordability and its proximity to the recently constructed Otterspool Skate Park. Instead, the funding earmarked for the scheme will be used to pay for the work at Princes Park and Calderstones Park.