Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens lottery award

City Council officers, MeGA volunteers and OMTRA activists celebrate the good news; centre – proposed visitor centre.

Good news. as the bid to renew the Memorial Gardens took the next big step to delivering a renewal and history presentation project worth around £1.7 million.
Key to the quality of the bid is the knowledge and experience of City Council officers; key to the creditability of the bid is the support of the volunteers group – the Memorial Gardens Association – and OMTRA.

“Nottingham City Council is celebrating after receiving the news that its £130,000 initial bid to restore the Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens has been successful. 
“The money has been awarded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will be used to improve facilities and create a visitor centre on the park. Nottingham City Council and other funding partners have also contributed with match funding.
“The announcement to return the park to its former glory marks the culmination of a development journey which has included two rounds of public consultation. The views of park users, veteran groups and the Friends Group [MEGA] about how the gardens and its facilities could be developed have identified a strong desire to see the area restored and improved.
“First stage of work will be developing the designs and plans, leading to a Delivery stage bid. This would then deliver the following:

  • Restoring the war Memorial which was unveiled in 1927
  • Restoring Queen Victoria’s Statue (dating from 1903) which has been in the gardens since 1953 (previously it sat in the Old Market Square)
  • Restoring the pond and fountains
  • Improving paths and access
  • Re-planting original flower beds
  • Installing new furniture
  • Creation of a visitor centre and toilets.

“An ongoing Activity Plan for the gardens will also set out how the restoration work and activities including historical research and links to both the physical and virtual Roll of Honours. The council will also work with various veteran organisations to help provide work experience and a pathway to help gain permanent employment. It is also proposed to create a Park Co-Ordinator post and two placements over five years. Engagement with the current and future park users will ensure that a legacy can be passed down from generation to generation.”

Above taken from City Council press release. Nottingham Post article.

Green Meadows

The Meadows has the opportunity to do even more to be environmentally friendly. The new Meadows Climate Change Consortium and Towards a Greener Meadows are the latest initiatives to do just that.
There is quite a lot in place already.

Energy & home comfort: Nottingham Energy Partnership are based at the Queens Walk Community Centre. We have our own energy services Company MOzES (Meadows Ozone Energy Services), which has supplied solar panels and insulation schemes. MOzES also hosts research such as the use of batteries in the home and the sharing of energy across very local networks. District heating reaches into the north of the neighbourhood. New housing built in the south of The Meadows (known as the Eco Meadows) is built to ecological standards.

Nature: With so many trees, the New Meadows looks like a wood from Nottingham castle. Arkwright Meadows Community Gardens are exemplars in what they do, including growing local food. Meadows in Bloom have transformed a number of local streets. Our primary schools offer a bug hotel, a pond for wildlife and a week of action. Both our main parks host a wide selection of trees (each with guides available). Residents in the community look after the Memorial Gardens. The Green hosts hedgehog boxes. The Queens Drive is a wide avenue lined with 170 tear old lime trees. The Embankment meets the river, with again lines of trees and plenty of birds. Our symbol is the crocus!

Transport: The midi-buses of the most successful bus company in the country are based in The Meadows and run on natural gas, supplied from the break down of tree material. The most successful bus priority scheme (in the country) starts in the east of The Meadows. The Meadows hosts 2 tram lines with 3 stops and neighbours the Nottingham railway station. There are 2 locations that provide electric car recharging, and a 3rd is planned. A new car club is starting, with an electric vehicle based at it on-street bay. A number of the Hackney Carriage drivers, whose vehicles are converting to electricity or Level 6, and their leaders, are based in The Meadows.

Waste: The City Council collects waste for recycling separately and other waste is burnt for energy and for collection of metals.

Community action: the ability to reach to people is well in place through community groups- Old Meadows TRA, New Meadows TRA, Queens Walk Community Association & its sister The Sheriffs Social Club, and the Meadows Muslim Centre. There is a Meadows Youth Centre and a there Portland Leisure Centre. A shop providing mobility scooters and services to the whole of the County is based in Bridgeway Shopping Centre. The Bridges Community Trust both organises community events and provides employment services. The Meadows Action Group is well established, helping residents with housing and social security. “Towards a Greener Meadows” was started last year and demonstrated how forward looking our community activists are.

Looking Forward: there is the potential to support –
– Net zero retrofit teams;
– Providing climate education;
– Undertaking local energy audits;
– Delivering more food growing and tree planting;
– providing more local sustainable transport;
and more.

The City Council reviews its ward action plan every December at a meeting of 30 or so community activists and last year a green theme was added to the event.

Nottingham City Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder and the local ward Councillors are keen to do more to make The Meadows greener. And our locally resident Member of Parliament will join in too.


Reviewing Aims for The Meadows

Cllr. Rebecca Langton discussing the Labour manifesto with residents. reps from The Meadows.

OMTRA reps have reviewed Nottingham Labour’s manifesto commitments, and the feedback is being added to a list of aims for delivery in the next 4 years.
City Councillor, Portfolio Holder and Meadows resident Rebecca Langton met senior community reps to hear many of the demands as the new Communities portfolio holder.
At some stage, I hope to publish everything that’s come up during the election campaigns and in subsequent reviews of the city-wide manifesto.