Croydon Council is urging Addiscombe residents and businesses to help shape plans to revitalise the former library, pavilion and open spaces of Ashburton Park.
Over the next fortnight the council is holding a series of local drop-in sessions and an online survey to get ideas on how to transform the former Ashburton Library and surrounding park into a community activity and learning hub.
The council has already pledged to repair the locally-listed former library building, and is currently marketing the site to businesses as a potential flexible base for cultural and leisure activities while keeping most of the space for community use.
Other improvements being considered range from fresh landscaping, new paths and an expanded events programme to providing better sports and play facilities, reinstating the original ornamental lake and bringing the pavilion and lodge back into use.
The council now wants to hear from interested businesses, residents and community groups on their ideas for how best to use the site, and has launched an online survey and a series of drop-in sessions from 9-11 March and 14-19 March run by researchers from University College, London. The council will then consider all suggestions for when it draws up an action plan later this year.
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “We’re absolutely determined to see Ashburton Park become the centre of the local community, which is why we want to see the old library returned to benefit local people. We’ve made a commitment to seeing it re-opened and we’re prepared to meet some of the refurbishment costs to achieve this.
“We’ve kept an open mind to what it can be used for, but it needs to be sustainable and we want it to benefit the area’s local housing estates and residents by contributing to improving health and wellbeing, supporting families and children, and strengthening community activity.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure, and sport, said: “Parks are a vital part of the makeup of our urban landscapes. They provide space for people to relax, stay active, and come together as a community. Having strong friends groups to champion what happens in them is a crucial part of our plan to deliver parks that will be sustainable and serve future generations. This project takes an holistic view of the whole park from the point of view of a local resident.”
Once all of the survey data has been collected and analysed, the council will produce a full parks review to help explore what external funding may be available.
The survey can be found at https://www.croydon.gov.uk/ashburtonpark-survey
The public drop-in sessions will be held at the following dates and locations:
o 9 March to 11 March – Woodside Primary for staff, parents and pupils only (school hours)
o 14 March to 19 March– Ashburton Library from 10am to 5pm (Saturday), 6pm (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) and 7pm (Monday). The library is closed on Wednesdays.