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Lottery funding

Victoria Park

In November 2019 Portsmouth City Council was awarded funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to explore a project to revitalise Victoria Park at the heart of the city. We have until autumn 2021 to submit a plan, supported by local people, to restore, improve, uncover and celebrate the park’s heritage and create a more inclusive space, which people can use to improve their wellbeing.

Over the next 12 months we will be working with the community to put together a bid. If we’re successful, we’ll get funding to restore and revitalise one of Portsmouth’s best loved parks with new buildings, infrastructure and an exciting programme of events and activities.

To get Lottery funding we have to show how we will:

  • protect the heritage of the park – finding out about the park’s history and restoring some of the historical features
  • make sure the park is welcoming and inclusive for all – by asking what facilities and activities would encourage more people to use the park
  • increase the wellbeing of park users – by supporting people’s physical wellness, strong mental health, learning, happiness, and a sense of community.

All the plans for the park need to demonstrate this to give us the best chance of a successful Lottery bid, so for every suggestion put forward we need to think:

  • Does it blend well with what’s there and add to the atmosphere of the park?
  • Does it continue to provide for current users while also attracting new visitors in?
  • Does it support people’s health and wellbeing?
  • Will the changes have a positive effect on the park’s nature and the wider environment?

Please bear this in mind when you give your views.

Working together

The memorial for HMS Orlando in Victoria Park

We’ve got until autumn 2021 to put together a plan for Victoria Park designed with and by local people. This will show the Lottery how we’ll restore, improve, uncover and celebrate Victoria Park’s heritage and create a more inclusive space, which people can use to improve their wellbeing. If we’re successful, we will be able to run activities and events in the park using new facilities.

We want to celebrate this wonderful place and restore it as the ‘People’s Park’ by providing the things that local people tell us they want. We need to hear as many different voices as possible.

We’ll have online surveys, virtual meetings and exhibitions using Facebook Victoria Park webpage. When it’s safe to do so again we’ll have face-to-face exhibitions and events.

Friends and volunteering

There are over 7,000 Friends groups around the country made up of other people that love their park. We want to add one more for our special park.

Whatever you are interested in – park life, the lottery project, or building community – we can put you in touch with other like-minded people.

At this stage we are just asking for an expression of interest. Don’t worry, you won’t be committing yourself to anything! If you have time, skills or experience you want to share, or to find out more, please complete the form here.

Here are a few ideas of what you could get involved in as a friend or volunteer:

  • Historical objects – this might include research of the monuments or fountain. Help us to understand and learn from them in today’s world.
  • History of the park and people – explore how Victorians used the park, such as what events took place at the bandstand.
  • Botany – help with the trees, shrubs, flowers or develop community growing spaces.
  • Education and conservation – for those interested in the environment and looking after nature. We want to generate an interest in these issues in others, especially children and young people with special needs, by sharing what we treasure about the park.
  • The aviary – some people have a special interest in these birds and animals. There’s a lot we can learn from visiting similar projects elsewhere.
  • Play and activities – there are limited facilities for play in the park, especially for young children. Come and influence what is provided for children now and in the future.
  • Community involvement – If you belong to a special interest group or support others that do, you might want to become a Friend to help get that voice across.
  • Building community – you may want to meet like-minded people or do something for the benefit of the community.
  • Other – we are open to your ideas, so please tell us using the form.

Contact us at or call 023 9268 8911

If anyone you know might be interested, but don’t have an email or computer, please get in touch and we can send details via post or arrange a phone call.

Find out more about Friends Groups elsewhere in the UK.

How do you remember Victoria Park?

We want to hear your personal histories and memories of the park – we want to collect these as photos, stories, audio and video clips and share them on our website and social media.

To take part, send your photos to us on Facebook Victoria Park webpage, or email your memories to us at

Victoria Park