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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 June 2007, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
11.6m park restoration unveiled
Birkenhead Park pavilion
The new pavilion houses a cafe, classroom and exhibition gallery
A historic 226-acre park which inspired New York's famous Central Park has been officially reopened after a 11.5m restoration scheme.

The results of the five-year improvement programme at the Grade I listed Birkenhead Park, Wirral, were unveiled on Saturday.

They include a new pavilion and the refurbishment of Swiss Bridge, the boat house and the parks' Grand Entrance.

Birkenhead-born actress Patricia Routledge opened the park on Saturday.

'National treasure'

New bridges, paths and railings have been installed and much of the original planting has been restored.

The park was opened in 1847 and inspired Victoria Park in London as well as Central Park in New York.

Steve Maddox, Wirral Council chief executive, said: "'This is an exciting day for everyone who has been involved in the restoration work and for Wirral as a whole.

"Birkenhead Park is one of our national treasures and we are delighted at the transformation, which echoes the full colour, form and splendour that Sir Joseph Paxton, who designed it, sought to achieve."

Park's renovated pavilion opens
10 Apr 06 |  Merseyside

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