Plans unveiled to spend Formula E cash in Battersea Park

Published: Tuesday 28th June 16

The council has unveiled formal plans to invest £820,000 in Battersea Park mainly as a direct benefit of staging Formula E there for two years.

Councillors will next week be asked to endorse a comprehensive package of proposals to invest this sum in improving the park.

They will meet to discuss the plans just two days after the final series of races are held in Battersea Park. Around 60,000 people are expected to attend the park next weekend to witness the climax of this year’s electric racing car world championship. 

Battersea Park's world famous peace pagoda

Councillors had always pledged that for every year the park hosted the event, £200,000 would be set aside to spend on improving it. Next week’s committee meeting will be told that an extra £100,000 will be added to this sum, raising the total spend derived directly from Formula E to half a million pounds.

In addition to this amount a further £250,000 has been received from the developers of the neighbouring Battersea Wharf and Chelsea Bridge Wharf housing schemes and this will also be invested in the park.

Further funding has been pledged by local amenity group the Friends of Battersea Park, bringing the total amount available to spend to £820,000. This will fund these improvement schemes:

Creation of a new playground near La Gondola Café – This would be located just off East Carriage Drive near the café and boating lake near to what is known locally as “The American ground”. Around £150,000 would be spent on providing new play equipment suitable for children up the age of 12.

Providing a new entrance – Opening up a new pedestrian entrance between Chelsea and Rosary Gates, with associated landscaping, allowing this new access route to connect with existing paths near the Millennium Arena. This improvement will cost £100,000.

A new garden - The Promontory is currently a closed and unused area of the park some 50m east of Albert Bridge which projects about 12m into the river. Using some of the funds from Formula E, plus a generous contribution from The Friends of Battersea Park, would allow a new landscaped garden to be created based on designs put forward by David Keary, a landscape design practice based in Leicester. Bringing this garden to life will cost £70,000.

Cascade fountain feasibility and restoration project – The cascades are an important and prominent historic landscape feature, but over time they have deteriorated and can no longer be used without causing significant additional damage. Councillors will be asked to agree to earmark £160,000 towards carrying out a feasibility study into their complete restoration and to help fund their refurbishment.

Restoration of seating shelters – It is proposed to spend £80,000 on restoring these three historic shelters with new seating and substantial structural and decorative renovation.

Improvements and repairs to the river wall –The wall is suffering from tidal erosion and age which is compromising its integrity both as a flood defence and as the supporting structure to the park’s northern boundary. This work will cost around £260,000.

Community services spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We are unveiling an exciting package of improvements to the park which will be largely funded by income we have received from the organisers of Formula E.

“We had always said we would set aside £200,000 to reinvest in the park every year it hosted the event. I am delighted that we have been able to increase this amount up to £500,000.

“This sum, coupled with the substantial funds we have also received from housing developers near the park, means we are in a position to now move forward with projects we have long wanted to do but simply didn’t have the money for.

“Thanks to this funding, and to a generous donation too from the Friends of Battersea Park, we will be able to deliver a range of improvements that will be enjoyed by visitors for many, many years to come.”

This year’s races will be the last time Formula E comes to Battersea Park after the organisers recently announced they are looking to secure a central London street circuit for future events.

Although most of the park will be closed for next weekend’s two races - and for two days afterwards while the track infrastructure is removed - a section of the park will be kept open throughout for non-ticket holders – so that local people who have no interest in the races but want to visit the park over that four day period can still do so.

For more information about Formula E in Battersea Park, including details of the arrangements for this year’s races, visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/formulae

For information about how to buy tickets for the event plus updates on this year’s championship and details of sustainable energy technology that the race organisers are promoting visit http://www.fiaformulae.com/.

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Recent comments

Interesting spin again from council on the reason for Formula E will not return to Battersea Park next year - they would love to stay, it is quite apparent the council fear of the threatened legal action from locals that has got them in retreat ! Another victory for people power.....(maybe not - £160k for a refurb SURVEY on the fountains..... ?!?!)
D. Spring

7 July 2016

I should point out that this £820K does not come from FE. It comes mainly from the Battersea Bridge and Chelsea Bridge Wharf developers, plus £30K from Friends of Battersea Park. A further £40K comes from the Council's budget. The balance, reduced from the expected £600K to £500k comes from FE. The heading is extremely misleading, and the Council then corrects it ilater on. Moral: Always read the small print.;
susan lofthouse

7 July 2016

My home overlooks Battersea Park; which I love. I am a pensioner and not interested in the formula e racing but, unlike the killjoys, I am in favour of this race continuing for the entertainment of the many folk who want this diversion from their working week. As you state, there are considerable financial benefits to the park so a brief inconvenience should surely be tolerated.
Ann Borrowman

2 July 2016

Well done Wandsworth. I hope that those who spoke against Formula E and the promised investment are now prepared to eat their words. Such a shame that, because of the nimby campaign, we will all miss out on further £millions that would have come to the Borough in the future.
Damian Garrido

1 July 2016

If, as is stated on the WBC website "the Environment Agency and Thames Water have responsibility for measures to alleviate flooding by strengthening the river banks, improving storm relief drains etc, " why is our Battersea Park improvement money being spent on essential repairs? Is it not the responsibility of those agencies?
Celia Blair

29 June 2016

Scratch the veneer of a Councillor Cook statement and beneath lies a web of mistruths, half truths and misinformation. You do not mention got money in lieu of a third year. Why does the Council push out these statements that remind people of an almost North Korean style self promotion. This from the same Cllrs who think parks are a luxury. We should assume if this is being trumpeted that budgets from elsewhere in the park are being redirected. Given the thousands of new flats in SW8 & £££ planning payments from these million £ + new builds built on the back of their proximity to the park where did the rest go?
johnF

29 June 2016

I note that the Agenda for the OS Committee mentions FE £600k capital funding reduced to £500K. Since the FE money was not intended for such maintenance works as the river wall, but as an extra do we therefore assume that the £220K was already earmarked from elsewhere for the repairs?
susan lofthouse

28 June 2016