In the urban heart of Ulverston, you will find Ford Park – acres of beautiful green space, well-loved and used by a variety of people, and the result of an incredible level of effort and dedication from the Ford Park Community Group – a registered charity initially set up in 1998 to secure the future of the park for the local community.
Following a council announcement to sell Ford Park, the charity came together to rent the land and develop plans for its restoration, before eventually securing a loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund to buy Ford Park from the council in 2005.
More recently, a sale of an acre of the park means that we are now debt free, working to secure a sustainable future – and continuing to offer so much more than just a park.
At the heart of the community
Ford Park is part of Ulverston’s history, with many fondly remembering school days at Ford Park – with home economics, art and chemistry, as well as motor mechanics and pig husbandry, all taught on site.
Today, the fields of Ford Park are much-loved by all ages – hosting major events such as the Lantern Festival, Ulverston Carnival and the Candlelit Walk – and being used on a daily basis by families and friends for picnics and play time, a meeting place for dog walkers and those wanting to enjoy a stroll around the nature trails, before a tasty treat in the cafe.
The Community Group
Made up of trustees, members, volunteers and supporters, Ford Park Community Group continues to develop the park for future generations.
Grant-funding has seen the Coach House building become a popular cafe and bistro, with a well-used first-floor function room, and the charity’s head office also move into the historic building.
The large walled Victorian Kitchen Garden has been restored to its former glory, thanks to a Local Food grant from the Big Lottery. Led by our Head Gardener, Sarah, our volunteers help to maintain the garden, alongside the wider grounds of the park.
Currently, the Community Group employs a Chief Executive, Head Gardener, Volunteer Manager and a Marketing and Admin Assistant. The Coach House Cafe is run as a social enterprise and employs a Head Chef and a team of staff.
Once a year, we hold an AGM at Ford Park to share updates on how developments are going and our visions and plans for the future – everyone is welcome to attend.
For more information on Ford Park Community Group, please call our Chief Executive, Jill Salmon, on 01229 580666.