Almost 20 companies have expressed interest in redeveloping Brooklands Park as the next stage of its revival kicks into gear.
The companies are looking to help Worthing Borough Council return the famous landmark to its iconic ‘jewel in the crown’ status to create a new £2m Science Adventure Park with the emphasis on learning through fun, play and exploration.
Key features and benefits of the regeneration will include a new cafe and lakeside picnicking area at the heart of the park along with improved walks and fitness trails, areas for outdoor events and community activities, community gardens and an adventure play area.
An indoor leisure activity centre in the south west corner of the park is also outlined to ensure it remains an attractive destination all year round.
The deadline for submissions for the redevelopment has not yet passed and council officials are expecting more interest to emerge.
In the meantime remedial work is set to begin to clear the park of all remaining structures and materials left from its previous incarnation. Within the next two months buildings are to be removed as is the red railway bridge. Wildflower sowing will take place to return the park to a natural state ahead of the development works which should start early next year.
Also, Five Rivers Environmental Contracting Ltd, which revived the lake last year, is returning next month for stage two of the works, strengthening mid lake islands, planting reed beds and reviewing boardwalks and defences. Wildfowl are returning to the lake which has been thoroughly dredged and redesigned but another two periods of work from Five Rivers is needed to set the lake up to self sustain into the future.
Worthing Borough Council’s Brooklands Project Manager Gary Prescod said: "We’ve had to let things settle down a bit and I understand why people might think nothing has happened since we launched the masterplan. However I want to assure people they we are just about to go to phase two and start clearing up the park while we assess the proposals to build us a beautiful park for future generations to enjoy."
It is hoped work will begin on new features next year. The masterplan also envisages an adventure playground, community gardens, outdoor education and den building area, enhanced planting of shrubs and flowers and pond life exploration. An iconic vertical feature, such as a sculpture or wind turbine, has also been suggested.