Good progress ..Stevenage Town Centre

Work on the regeneration of Stevenage’s Town Centre Gardens, funded by the Lottery Parks for People programme, is progressing well even after the discovery of a World War II hand grenade, which was made safe by the Bomb Disposal team.
Much of the work to date has concentrated on the pond. Large quantities of silt and debris have been removed, with some silt retained for use on site. The timber pond embankment was largely rotten and is being replaced with concrete panels, which will stabilise the adjacent footpaths and pond edge. New oak timber cladding will be installed to the front of the concrete panels to create a more appealing finish to the pond edge. The foundations for a new bridge have also been prepared, with the bridge scheduled for installation in early December.
Earlier this summer the Women and Doves statue was removed and taken to a specialist foundry for cleaning and restoration. The council is working closely with David Norris, who sculpted the statue, during the restoration process. During one of his visits, David realised that four doves were missing from the statue. The foundry has now recast the missing doves, and the statue will be returned to its former glory when it is unveiled later this year.
Elsewhere in the Gardens, the play area has been cleared in preparation for a new play facility. The Blind Gardens have been cleared and the foundations for new raised planters prepared. The Council continues to liaise with North Herts College who are helping to design, plant and maintain the new sensory garden within the site. Works to the pond should be completed by January 2011, at which point fish will be returned to the site.

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