Ashton accolade

Opening of The Pavilion Tea Room and Restaurant at Ashton Gardens, St Annes.
Opening of The Pavilion Tea Room and Restaurant at Ashton Gardens, St Annes.

THE transformation of Ashton Gardens’ pavilion has been hailed as “extraordinary” at a prestigious award ceremony.

The Ashton Institute – which has been restored as the centrepiece of the St Annes garden – was shortlisted in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) annual award ceremony.

And although it was pipped to the top prize by an art-deco restoration in Southport, RICS members said the Institute was “an extraordinary transformation.”

The work was part of the park’s £2m restoration and saw the Institute building moved 125 yards to its current position.

Coun Sue Fazackerley, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “We didn’t win but we can be proud that its quality has been recognised by such an august body.

“We were rubbing shoulders with much larger and far more expensive conservation projects and everyone involved – council staff and volunteer supporters of the park – should take pride in what they have achieved.”

The pavilion was also one of eight projects shortlisted for a prestigious local authority building award.

Meanwhile, the £73,000 new children’s play area at Ashton Gardens is up and running and will be officially opened on a date yet to be announced.

The play area, for youngsters from six to 16, consists of slides, swings, wooden bridges, a climbing frame and a rock scramble between a series of earthwork mounds.