Argyll & Bute urban park to stand as Gareth Hoskins tribute

Gareth Hoskins
Gareth Hoskins

Argyll & Bute Council is to dedicate Helensburgh’s Hermitage Park to late architect Gareth Hoskins following the award of a £2.3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Hoskins and Gillespies had worked closely with community volunteer group Friends of Hermitage Park on the project to restore the only urban park in Argyll & Bute to its former splendour.

Grant funding will go toward a new pavilion designed by Hoskins Architects, restoration of an A-listed war memorial, Japanese garden and wishing well - in addition to a new sports facility and children’s play area.

Councillor Ellen Morton, policy lead for infrastructure, said: “We are delighted with this news. The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund will pay for around three-quarters of the cost of the project, with the council contributing £280,000 directly and the remaining money coming from other funders such as the War Memorial Trust.

“Following on from the completion of the town centre regeneration project last year, which has given the town a real boost, this is yet more good news.

“This has been a real partnership project between the council and the local community, by way of the Friends of Hermitage Park Association and is a great example of Argyll and Bute Council’s commitment to engaging with our local communities.

“Going forward we would hope to and tender for a main contractor for the work around spring 2016. All going well work should get underway in the autumn 2016 with a view to completion by summer 2018.

“While this is, of course, happy news and is to be warmly welcomed, it is tinged with sadness following the untimely death of our project architect, local man Gareth Hoskins. Aged just 48, Gareth was one of the country’s most respected architects and has been involved in Argyll and Bute Council projects for a number of years. Our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time and we can only hope that the redeveloped park will stand as a testament to him.”

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