The use of Victoria Park as a venue for the Birmingham 2022 Lawn and Para Lawn Bowls event ensured significant funding support was secured through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership to facilitate a major programme of improvement projects in Victoria Park and surrounding areas in Royal Leamington Spa.
The opportunities created by the Commonwealth Games allowed Warwick District Council and supporting partners to deliver:
- A legacy of improvements to public and assets that will continue to attract visitors to Royal Leamington Spa and the wider region
- Improved and enhanced transport links and rail infrastructure for the benefit of visitors to the town and the local community
- An enhanced experience of the Commonwealth Games for participants and visitors to the event that helped us to showcase the area, its cultural assets and will hopefully encourage new and repeat visitors to the region
- Benefits to local businesses and a boost to the local economy with direct and indirect jobs created because of improvement projects, the Games and interest in the region and its offer after the event
Further information about some of the key improvements made is detailed below:
Bowls Green and Venue enhancements
The main competition Bowling Greens in Victoria Park has been resurfaced to a world class competition standard. In addition, the Victoria Park bowls, and tennis pavilions were extensively refurbished internally and externally in readiness for hosting the Commonwealth Games Lawn and Para Lawn Bowls event.
Paths around the bowling greens have been resurfaced, and investment have been made in greens maintenance equipment to support ongoing management and maintenance of the bowling greens.
Numerous improvements were also made to services in and around the bowling greens venue, to support the Commonwealth Games event, which has provided a lasting benefit. These include:
• Upgrading and improving power supplies to Victoria Park’s bowls and tennis pavilions
• Improving drainage services in Victoria Park’s bowls and tennis pavilions
• Upgrading the venue audio and speaker systems at the bowls pavilion and around the bowling greens
• Enhancing security around the greens with new fencing
The investment in this venue leaves Royal Leamington Spa with a world-class sporting facility that includes some of the world’s best bowling greens. In addition, the venue has successfully hosted the Commonwealth Games, which attracted thousands of visitors to the town and brought the name of Royal Leamington Spa to the attention of millions of viewers following the Games across the world.
The investment and improvements in the venue also ensure it retains an enviable and attractive status that will draw future events and their visitors, such as the National bowls competitions. The local community also benefits from the improvements. Community clubs operate from the bowls, and tennis pavilions and opportunities are being explored to increase opportunities for increased community hire and use of the improved facilities.
Find out more about improvements to the lawn bowls clubhouse.
Public Realm Improvements
Significant investments and improvements have been made to the public realm in Victoria Park and the wider area in areas that were key walking routes during the Commonwealth Games. Public realm improvements include:
• Refurbished and improved park furniture and fencing at Victoria Park
• Resurfaced and improved footpaths in and around Victoria Park
• Landscaping works that have included habitat management and the planting of trees and bedding
These improvements helped provide a positive lasting impression of the town for Games times visitors and helped advance and coordinate planned maintenance works that have an impactful improvement on the look and feel of the park and help to ensure it continues to be a popular visitor attraction and community facility.
Improvements have also been made to the look and operation of Victoria Park’s car parking facilities, including increasing accessible parking to improve access and inclusivity for visitors to the park and town.
Additionally, a new, comprehensive bespoke wayfinding scheme in Royal Leamington Spa was installed, linking Victoria Park to the wider town and key visitor arrival points and attractions. The wayfinding scheme helps to ensure visitors can successfully interpret and navigate Leamington Spa and access and enjoy the full extent of its offer in terms of its shops, services, and amenities.
Find out more about the footpaths resurfacing works.
Investment in sports equipment and facilities
Further works that have been undertaken with funding secured because of the Commonwealth Games include the renovation of the public tennis and sports courts in Victoria Park and Christchurch Gardens.
Investment has also been made to provide specialised bowling aids and adaptations for the free use of new and existing bowlers at Victoria Park.
The benefits of these investments for the town’s community are broad. Not only does this help Warwick District Council demonstrate its commitment to encouraging and supporting healthy and active lifestyles, but the equipment and facilities also provide further encouragement for people to visit and enjoy Leamington Spa.
Find out more about improvements to the district’s local tennis courts.
Sustainable and active travel projects
The Commonwealth Games has provided Warwick District Council with the opportunity to secure funding that has been used to promote active travel, healthy lifestyles, and the need to support our local town centres.
Funding has been used to support the Council’s Choose How You Move in Warwick District initiative, where the authority has worked with an app-based behavioural change company called BetterPoints to develop a free-to-use reward programme that encourages sustainable and active travel across the district and incentivises footfall into our town centres.
Warwick District Council has also invested in increasing cycle parking facilities at Victoria Park, Leamington Spa Station and more widely in Royal Leamington Spa town to ensure cyclists have appropriate infrastructure to allow them to travel comfortably and effectively between the town’s key public spaces.
Leamington Spa Station improvement scheme
Improvements have taken place to improve Leamington Spa Station’s forecourt and station underpass as part of a suite of improvements to boost infrastructure in Royal Leamington Spa ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Additional Funded Public Realm and Wayfinding Improvements – Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa
Additional funding from West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) provided an opportunity to fund improvements that will leave legacy benefits in Royal Leamington Spa, and Warwick linked to the use of Victoria Park and Myton Fields being used as venues for the Lawn Bowls and Para Bowls and Cycling Road race, respectively.
Funding was utilised in Royal Leamington Spa to pay for extensive refurbishment of fencing and gates around the perimeter of Victoria Park and along the walking route in Royal Leamington Spa. As key sites on the agreed spectator walking route, additional resurfacing and remodelling works on the Riverside Walk, and the repainting and refurbishment of the Princes Drive Road bridge were also undertaken using funding from WMCA.
The WMCA funding was also used to refurbish and improve key pedestrian crossing points in Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa and to refurbish pedestrian wayfinding signage in and around St. Nicholas Park in Warwick.
A temporary wayfinding scheme was commissioned in Warwick to support with directing visitors to the cycling road race to and from the venue at Myton Fields. The costs and lessons learnt from the installation of this scheme will be used to inform designs for sustainable travel planning for major events taking place across Warwick District.
Find out more information about the wayfinding scheme.
Find out more about the improvement works to Riverside Walk and York Walk.
Public Art Projects – Royal Leamington Spa and Warwick
The Commonwealth Games provided opportunities to invest in public art projects as part of the District’s CultureFest programme, demonstrating Warwick District Council’s commitment to promoting the area’s creative and cultural offering.
The Colour Palette Art concept was successfully expanded into Warwick, with the installation of ‘The Warwick Colour Palette’ artwork adjacent to the platform at Warwick Station.
In Royal Leamington Spa, additional Games related public art installations of significance include the refurbished and repainted ‘Jennie Moncur’ rail bridge across Princes Drive and the ‘Finding Leamington’ fingerpost installation at Christchurch Gardens.
Outdoor gym equipment installed in Victoria Park
New outdoor gym equipment has been installed in Victoria Park. The facility is being funded primarily by AC Lloyds and the Rotary Club of Royal Leamington Spa and supplied by Fresh Air Fitness.
The new facility is located on the river side of the inner footpath between the skate park and Princes Drive car park.
Find out more information about the outdoor gym equipment installed in Victoria Park.
- Visit the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 website for further information, news and business opportunities
- Read our Commonwealth Games 2022 news feed for the latest updates from Warwick District.
Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP)
A total of £1.8 million has been awarded to Warwick District Council from Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) for infrastructure improvements.