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Official opening of revamped Level delayed by up to a year
The official opening of a £2.2 million park has been delayed – by up to a year.
Contractors from Brighton and Hove City Council have spent the last year refurbishing The Level to evoke memories of its 1920s heyday.
But because of delays to work on the café, public toilets and Rose Walk entrance, officials have announced the official opening due on September 28 will also be delayed.
With autumn under way, the local authority has now said it will delay the event until next year so locals can enjoy the new park under sunny skies.
A newsletter sent by council officials to residents said: “The exact date has not yet been agreed with the events committee but is likely to be early next summer.
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“Council officers, various partners and volunteers from the Communities of The Level Forum committee have put in a lot of work so far into planning this event and, although all the work done so far will not be lost and there are no abortive costs, it is disappointing.
“I realise this news is disappointing but hope you understand the reason for putting off the official opening until we can really celebrate all the wonderful new features of the park, on what we hope will be a lovely summer’s day.”
However officials reminded locals there were things to celebrate which included the delivery of chess boards this week, a health walk from the park on October 3 and the opening of the north lawns by the end of this month.
Nigel Lambe, who will operate The Velo café at the park, said: “It’s out of our hands. There’s a delay with the contractors on site.
“Once we have the keys we will look to fit it out and should be open within a month.”
The Level has been used as an open space for more than 200 years with records showing it was used as a cricket pitch.
The layout became more formalised in 1822 before elm avenues were planted in 1844.
In the 1920s Captain Bertie Hubbard MacLaren, the town’s superintendent of parks, redesigned the south end as a playground and boating pond with columns and pergolas.
Work on restoring some of these features began in October after securing money from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Among the improvements are a playground, fountains and a sensory garden.
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