A popular park will close for nine months while it is being revamped.

The Level in Brighton has been enjoyed by the public for more than 200 years.

But the open space of 8.5 hectares between Lewes Road and Ditchling Road will be off limits until July as a £2.2 million makeover is carried out.

Brighton and Hove City Council, which is heading up the refurbishment, apologised for any inconvenience but added the work would give it a “new lease of life”.

It is part of a wide scheme to improve the Lewes and London Road areas.

Philip Wells, of the London Road Local Action Team, said: “It is not something we have discussed at the LAT.

“I know we have been looking forward to the redevelopment but it seems a pity that there’s part where people can’t use the facilities for a while.”

The makeover, which is largely funded by a lottery grant, will start on October 15.

Paths around The Level will remain accessible, and the Rose Walk, which crosses the centre of the park, will be open during most of the work.

Among the improvements will be adding a new playground, fountains, a sensory garden, tables for board games and table tennis.

A new café and public toilets will also be added.

The skate park will be moved from its current location to the north part of the park, which is currently flat open space.

It will be carried out by Surrey-based The Gavin Jones Group, which has done projects for the Royal Opera House, London Eye and the 2012 Olympic organisers.

A council spokeswoman said: “The major restoration of The Level is designed to give this open space in the heart of the city a new lease of life and encourage more people of all ages to use and enjoy it.

“While The Level is closed park users are being encouraged to use facilities at other parks in the city.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused while restoration work is in progress.”

A final community event will be held on Saturday October 13 from 12pm to 4pm with an afternoon of sports and games, before work starts.

Information about the plans will be on display while historians will collect people’s memories about the area.