In this blog we thought we’d try something a little different. So, we’ve teamed up with Laura Stanley who works as a Principal Project Manager for the Special Projects team at Warrington Borough Council, to get her perspective on the unbelievably amazing Glasshouse restoration project.
So without any further blathering from us it’s over to Laura…
‘It’s an exciting time at Walton as the Conservatory Range and Shippon are coming to life. Our partners, Myerscough College and Walton Lea Partnership, have moved into the site and are bringing our glasshouses to life again.
This project started for my team in 2013 working for the estate to pull together the ideas and enthusiasm for restoring the glasshouses into a project that would engage people in the heritage story and be sustainable for the authority to manage long term. After two attempts at getting over the first hurdle in late 2015, we got the nod from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop a detailed bid.
In January 2016, I was lucky enough to be asked to lead the Round 2 bid and subsequently, the first two years of delivery. I’ve worked to take a partnership and project plan through detailed design and development and through to completing the works on site. The specialists we’ve brought in to work on the project have skills and invaluable technical expertise, they have also had a great passion for restoring heritage.
And then there are the volunteers and the public – the people of Walton. Without their passion, this project wouldn’t have started all those years ago. There are a few people in particular (who won’t want naming!) who have dedicated hours of their own time to help tell the story of the Glasshouses and Walton, researching, interviewing and photographing providing priceless information.
When there have been headaches and problems and all the things that come with being a project manager, it’s those stories and passion that give you a boost. While we’ve been finishing the final tweaks, we have been able to see our partners using the site – enjoying a brew break in the potting sheds where generations of gardeners have spent time, learning where the cows were once kept and making Walton part of their own special place.
On 10 October 2019, we’re ‘launching’ the site celebrating the work that’s been done and marking the start of the next chapter of Walton’s story. I hope you enjoy the new glasshouses as much as I have working to bring them back to life!’
For more information on our glasshouses, partners and general information on the project visit our gardens section…