Town pavilion could be saved - and for just £1

Kenilworth pavilion. Picture submitted
Kenilworth pavilion. Picture submitted

Kenilworth’s ‘neglected’ pavilion could be saved after town councillors launched a bid to buy the structure for £1 and turn it into a family shelter.

The century-old wooden stand in Abbey Fields has been under threat since the nearby play area was revamped in a £120,000 scheme.

Warwick District Council officers initially planned to tear the unused hut down, branding it a draw for drinking and drug use - and completely unsuitable for the newly created children’s space.

But after outcry at the decision, officers came up with an upgrade plan complete with plumbing and renovation - at a cost of over £50,000.

Kenilworth councillors have now branded the idea ‘absurd’ and asked to buy the troublesome site for just £1 in hope of making practical use of the space.

Speaking at their last monthly meeting, Cllr Richard Davies, who has backed the plans to save the site from the start, said: “The district council seems to be making the proposal so unpalatable that we would be loathed to accept it.

“It’s a great deal of money and people always would wonder what they are spending that amount on.

“We can look at this as a community project and make use of the huge talent we have in Kenilworth.

“We have a playground which is incredible popular and there is no reason why this cannot be incorporated.”

Cllr Norman Vincett said the site was well used by parents while children played, and that they could easily and cheaply keep this running.

“The figures from the district council are unacceptable for a refurbishment and I get the impression that the council doesn’t really want the hassle,” he said.

“This structure is 100 years old and has been a feature of Abbey Fields for all of living memory.

“It has been neglected but over the summer mums have been using it as a shelter and place to sit and chat while the children play.

“We can keep this going and help protect its future.”

Plans include for the shelter to be altered with potentially the walls removed so that the area remains open for child safety at very low cost.

The remaining roof would provide storage for push chairs and equipment, as well as somewhere for parents to sit or shelter from the rain.

The Bowling Green was created in April 1913, and the pavilion put up by the town council around a decade later.

Kenilworth Civic Society was also behind a campaign to save it from demolition.

Warwick District Council is expected to respond to the town’s proposal over the coming weeks, and then decisions can be made over the future of the pavilion.