Ambitious £1m plans to return The Mount in Fleetwood back to its original landscape is set to begin on Monday.
And the scheme marks the start of a grander plan to completely revive the town’s most iconic landmark.
The seaward side of The Mount’s Grade II registered gardens are to be restored to their 19th century design, starting with a return to the kind of ornate railings that topped the esplanade wall.
At the same time the shelters will be restored, pathways repaired and resurfaced and heritage benches added.
Funding for this first phase of the project was made possible thanks to a personal gift of £1m by Fisherman’s Friend boos Doreen Lofthouse.
An initial bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund has also been submitted for money to transform the landward side including pavilion, rose garden and gate lodge, with a decision expected early next year.
It’s wonderful that Mrs Lofthouse has helped to kick-start this project, which will hopefully lead to a successful Lottery bid and shows the continuing investment in Fleetwood by Wyre Council
Coun David Henderson, Cabinet member with responsibility for parks and open spaces at Wyre Council, said: “We’re reviving this historical site as part of our work to rejuvenate the seafront and make Fleetwood a promenade to be proud of. The Mount was originally designed to be the centre point of the town and it’s time for it to become the focus once again; an original feature among exciting new attractions in a town that’s enjoying a revival.
“It’s wonderful that Mrs Lofthouse has helped to kick-start this project, which will hopefully lead to a successful Lottery bid and shows the continuing investment in Fleetwood by Wyre Council.”
Designed by eminent architect Decimus Burton in the 1800s and built on an extensive rabbit warren, The Mount was the heart of Fleetwood with the streets of the town radiating out from it.
The original cast iron railings were removed in 1942 for the Second World War.
The new railings are being specially made to replicate the ornamental pattern of the original Victorian design and they will be painted in shades of green to match the colours used when first built and other historical Fleetwood features such as Euston Park water fountain.
The existing stone coping atop the low wall will be replaced before 10 metre sections of railings are installed at a time.
Work will finish by summer 2016. The gardens remain open to the public throughout.
Find out more and sign up for e-news about the project at wyre.gov.uk/themount