Work set to begin on £5.2million transformation of West Smethwick Park
Published 10th May 2018
Work will begin this summer to transform West Smethwick Park as part of a £5.2million project.
The centrepiece will be a brand new two-storey pavilion in the centre of the park, replacing the original refreshment rooms that were demolished back in the 1980s.
Many of the park’s historical features, including the Grade II-listed Chance glass memorials, drinking fountain and the airmen’s memorial, will be restored as well as the park’s original entrance gateways.
The work is being funded by a £4.5million award from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery Funds’ Parks for People programme and around £600,000 from Sandwell Council.
The council’s Cabinet will discuss final preparations for the project at a meeting next week (16 May), including procurement of an organisation to run the pavilion and the disposal of an old grounds maintenance depot.
Sandwell Council’s new cabinet member for leisure Councillor Bill Gavan said he was excited to be bringing forward such huge changes for the park.
“This project is going to transform West Smethwick Park,” he said.
“At the pavilion we will have a café, public toilets and space for events, classes and exhibitions. The pool will be improved and we’ll have new outdoor gym equipment, new CCTV and lighting.
“The park will be a safer and more enjoyable place to visit, building on the great track record we have in Sandwell for creating and maintaining fantastic parks and green spaces.
"Not only that, West Smethwick Park is just up the road from the site of the new Commonwealth Games Aquatics Centre - and most of the improvements should be completed by the time the games are here.
“Sandwell already has 11 parks and green spaces with the Green Flag award for excellence and I hope West Smethwick Park will soon be joining them thanks to this fantastic project.”
The park’s transformation, which will start in June, will begin by creating space for the new pavilion and removing damaged, diseased and dangerous trees. Any trees removed will be replaced with new ones planted elsewhere in the park.
It’s expected work on the pavilion will be completed in 2020 and the project on the wider park will continue to 2022/23.