A CALL has been made for local groups to band together to save the conservatory at Stamford Park.
Gareth Cottrell, from Tameside Tourism, is keen to find a way of finding the funds to restore the iconic structure that has been shut because of “structural issues”.
After Tameside Tourism members met with Nicola Marshall, Tameside Council’s Greenspace manager, to discuss ways of repairing the conservatory, Mr Cottrell does not believe the local authority will provide funding.
He said: “It is clear Tameside Council don’t see it as a priority and the footfall is not big enough to justify investing their own money.
“We have spoken to Ridge Hill Enterprises who have also been positive about it. The more people we can get involved the better.”
Mr Cottrell pointed out the conservatory was shut in early 2016 without warning and plants left to die.
“Now the public found out, they asked questions which is where we are at the moment,” he said.
Cllr Kevin Welsh, whose Stalybridge North ward includes Stamford Park, is keen to see the conservatory brought back to its former glory.
He said: “I have heard the heating system is one of the main problems and the overall cost of repairs will be significant.
“I am hoping to arrange a meeting with senior officers in the new year so we can sit down and discuss the cost and how we can fund the repairs.”
Ms Marshall refused to talk to the Correspondent, instead directing an enquiry for a comment to Tameside Council’s communications department.
Their statement read: “Tameside Tourism are keen to see the conservatory restored and, following a meeting, we have asked them to come back to us with proposals in terms of how restoration would be funded and how the conservatory would be maintained.”
The plight of the conservatory was brought to the Correspondent’s attention by reader Jean Latchford, from Grey Street.
The John Nield Conservatory, to give its full name, was erected and furnished with plants from the legacy to Stamford Park left by the late JP. It was opened on October 13, 1907.
It was completely rebuilt and restored to the original Victorian design between 1982-84 and reopened in April 1985.
There was a further extensive refurbishment, with the latest one completed in May 2003.