Friends of Hermitage Park
Friends of Hermitage Park Association (FoHPA), SCIO SC042935, are ‘a group of volunteers dedicated to saving our Park from neglect and decay.’
Hermitage Park development project was initiated in 2010 when a few local residents expressed concern about the deterioration of Hermitage Park over many years in terms of both maintenance and safety. The group set about tackling some of the park’s problems through a programme of action days, which continue today. Although this produced a noticeable improvement it was clear that further action was needed.
In 2011 the group approached the Parks for People section of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and submitted a preliminary application for funding. The HLF responded positively and the Friends were encouraged to form themselves into a registered charity, which they did. In 2011 the Friends of Hermitage Park Association (FoHPA) was formed and formally constituted as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Their two key objectives were to work in the park to clear overgrown areas and obtaining funding for long term improvements.
The Friends, in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council, developed and submitted a successful application to HLF in August 2013. In January 2014 funding was awarded for the preparation of a stage two bid and a design team were engaged to help draw up plans for the rejuvenation and upgrading of Hermitage Park. In addition, an Hermitage Park Development officer was appointed and together with the Friends developed and submitted in September 2015 a successful HLF stage two bid worth £3.1 million, of which the FoHPA successfully raised £20,000 with a commitment to over £80,000 of volunteer time.
Whilst it may appear that FoHPA have achieved their goal, in many ways this is just the beginning. The Friends are committed to raising more funds for the long term sustainability of the park and have set up an Hermitage Park Development Fund to ensure future development and need YOUR help to achieve this.