Pets’ Corner to close for major improvements next month

Lifestyle / Thu 8th Jan 2015 at 02:39pm

Pets CornerPETS’ Corner is to close temporarily to the public next month while it undergoes major refurbishment works as part of a town park-wide improvement programme.

The refurbishment of the facility is part of a £2.8m investment to regenerate and renovate Harlow Town Park. More than £1.8m has been secured by Harlow Council in Lottery funding to pay for improvements at Pets’ Corner and across the Town Park. A new events barn and Learning Centre will be built at Pets’ Corner to provide an enhanced education programme along with better visitor access and improved facilities for animals.

Pets’ Corner will close to the public in early February 2015 for approximately three months. The plan is for Pets’ Corner to reopen in the middle of the Spring period.

The temporary closure will enable the much-needed improvements to be undertaken as quickly and safely as possible. As the site will become a building site, normal health and safety rules will apply, which will mean that public access to the site will not be possible.

Arrangements have been made to ensure that all the animals are suitably rehoused or cared for whilst the building work is taking place. Staff will continue to work during the closure to feed and exercise the animals.

Although there will be no access available to Pets’ Corner itself, the outside paddocks within the Showground will still be accessible to visitors where animals such as sheep, cows, llamas, goats, horses, reindeer are given daily exercise time.

The Council will provide the public with updates on the progress of these works throughout the project.

Councillor Emma Toal, Portfolio Holder for Youth and Community, said: “The welfare of the animals is our number-one priority. We have ensured that whilst this building work takes place that all the animals are cared for in a way that prevents causing them distress. February is generally a quieter time for the venue and visitors can still visit most of the animals who will be outside during the day in the paddock area.

“This project underlines Harlow Council’s commitment to securing the future of Pets’ Corner, which is a hugely popular facility used by many members of the community. Once reopened we will have a much-improved venue for the public and the animals to enjoy and be proud of.”

Karen Mash, from the Friends of Pets’ Corner, said: “We fully support the temporary closure. This really was the only option available as it is the quickest and safest way for the works to be carried out and we believe that this plan will work out best for both the welfare of the animals and for the visitors who enjoy coming to Pets’ Corner”.

“We are excited about the development and we know that everyone else will share our excitement about the bright future that Pets’ Corner has.”

Other works planned as part of the Harlow Town Park regeneration programme include the conservation of Spurriers House (including turning the ground floor into a new café); improvements and upgrades to the Bandstand; the restoration and conservation of the park’s water gardens; renewed and new pathways; seating, viewing points and improved signage across the park.

Work on the regeneration programme begun in December 2014 with the start of horticultural improvements and the restoration of various garden and wooded areas across the park.

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