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 developed, providing a popular cafe, with a well-used first-floor function room, and the charity’s head office living in 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. Working with our gardener, our volunteers help to maintain the garden, alongside the wider grounds of the park.
Currently, the Community Group employs a Chief Executive, Gardener, Volunteer Team Leader, Park Ranger and a Marketing and Communications Officer. The Cafe premises are now leased to local chef Mark Satterthwaite. Mark’s business, The Base, provides a daytime cafe Monday to Friday 10am till 2pm and evening dining twice a week Friday and Saturday.
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.