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Last Updated: Monday, 10 April 2006, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Park's renovated pavilion opens
Birkenhead Park pavilion
The pavilion houses a cafe, classroom and exhibition gallery
A refurbished and renovated glass pavilion has been officially opened at Birkenhead Park.

The park - which influenced the design for Central Park in New York - re-opens to the public later this month.

The 1m design houses a cafe, classroom and exhibition gallery, and was opened by the Duke of Gloucester.

A total of 11m is being spent refurbishing the park, with more than half of that sum coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The work includes restoring the Swiss bridge and the Roman Boathouse.

Deprived area

The park was designed in 1847 and is believed to be one of the world's first public parks.

The Grade I-listed 226-acre urban park is in a deprived inner city area and has suffered vandalism for many years.

The new glass pavilion is inspired by the park's original architect Sir Joseph Paxton, who also designed the glass house at Crystal Palace.

HLF's regional manager, Tony Jones, said: "We've committed 7.4m towards the restoration of the park and we are pleased to see work progressing to ensure the park reaches its full potential as a haven for local people."


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