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£2million Caledonian Park refurb begins

PUBLISHED: 16:14 24 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:26 24 October 2017

Work has begun on the project to revitalise Caledonian Park and its clock tower. Picture: Steve Bainbridge

Work has begun on the project to revitalise Caledonian Park and its clock tower. Picture: Steve Bainbridge

2017 Steve Bainbridge

When Islington Council approved its own application to spruce up Caledonian Park last year, outraged opponents to the plans said it was a “wonderful opportunity” for drug dealers and prostitutes.

Holloway ward Cllrs Diarmaid Ward, Paul Smith and Rakhia Ismail at the Caledonian Park groundbreaking ceremony. Picture: Steve Bainbridge/Islington CouncilHolloway ward Cllrs Diarmaid Ward, Paul Smith and Rakhia Ismail at the Caledonian Park groundbreaking ceremony. Picture: Steve Bainbridge/Islington Council

The council will be hoping these doom-laden predictions won’t come true after work started on Wednesday.

Locals said a new visitor centre by the clock tower would provide dealers and prostitutes to do business, with 750 signing a petition against the plans.

But environment leader Cllr Claudia Webbe was only focusing on the positives at the groundbreaking ceremony: “It’s fantastic that work has begun on this exciting project, which offers a brilliant opportunity to celebrate our history, and bring that history alive.”

As well as the visitor centre, the £2million work – paid for by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant – will also see the park’s famous clock tower restored and opened to the public to enjoy the views from its 40m-high balcony.

Caledonian Park will remain open while the constuction takes place. It’s expected to finish next summer.

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