More than £4 million has been promised to restore a historic city park and its buildings.
A total of £4,077,800 worth of funding has been earmarked for the Stanmer Park Restoration project in Brighton.
The project aims to restore the park’s landscape, and Grade II listed buildings, safeguard its natural features and protect its rare landscapes.
The 485 hectare park is visited by half a million people every year and the council estimate the numbers could rise to 800,000 following the restoration work.
Councillor Pete West, chairman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said the park could be one of the city’s “greatest attractions”.
He said: “Stanmer Park is extremely well loved and has the potential to become an important gateway encouraging people from Brighton and Hove to explore and appreciate their local countryside and our biosphere.”
The council and authority have received a grant of £291,000, which they will match fund, to develop a plan to allow them to unlock the rest of the earmarked money.
Then work will be done to enhance the park’s walled garden and glass houses which would allow food to be grown on site and sold at a council run nursery.
A training centre for Plumpton College to run its horticultural courses will also be established and students will be able to help with the restoration work.
Trevor Beattie, chief executive of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “This project is a real opportunity to encourage more people to discover, appreciate and benefit from a unique historic estate less than five kilometres from the heart of the city of Brighton and Hove.”
A further £6 million is up for grabs to carry out improvements and restorations to the park’s farm complex. The result of the bid will be released in February.
Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “Today’s investment will ensure the historic and community features of Stanmer Park are in better shape so they can be enjoyed by local people long into the future.”