In 2008 the land was leased by the respected Company of Langtree, and it seemed as if the dream of restoration was finally going to be realised. Angela Davies, Vice-Chariman of the Japan Society North-West, contacted the original landscapers, Hakone Ueki Ltd, and arranged for experts to come and assist. A £3.7 million grant from the North West Development Agency (NWDA) guaranteed that the restoration work could be carried out and that there would be funding available for ongoing maintenanace, provided by the Land Trust, when the Riverside Park, home to the Japanese garden, was officially opened due to take place this month.
The restored Japanese garden will be an integral part of the new 67-acre park and its open aspect links it to the festival park¡Çs original lake and waterfall as well as the restored Chinese pavilion on the opposite side. The garden has been expanded a little and some new features have been added such as a shukkei (representation of Mount Fuji).
The new park will link in with the Riverside Walk along the River Mersey.
The ongoing maintenance of the garden will be supervised by the Land Trust, who are hosting the VIP opening of the whole Park on Saturday 23rd July 2011.
For more information, visit www.festivalgardens.com