Stanley Park lake funding bid fails but still hope for alternative solutions

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A bid for up to £1m towards dredging Stanley Park Lake has been unsuccessful but hopes remain of finding a long term solution to eradicate the algae which affects the water feature.

 

The council had applied for funding from the Innovative Flood Resilience Fund in partnership with the Wyre Rivers Trust for the work to be carried out.

A town hall spokesperson said: “The bid for funding at the lake was unsuccessful but the team continues to look for other funding sources.”

Algae and pond weed has spread across the surface of the lake in recent years and a feasability study was carried out in 2019 to look at ways of managing the problem.

A boat removing pond weed at the lake earlier this yearA boat removing pond weed at the lake earlier this year

Dredging the lake would make it deeper and reduce exposure of the algae and pond weed to sunlight thus controlling its spread naturally.

Lisa Arnold, leisure services manager at Blackpool Council, told a meeting of the Scrutiny Leadership Board earlier this year that cutting back the pond weed each year was “a costly and labour intensive process.”

It also caused the weed to “grow more vigorously the following year so it just perpetuates the issue.”

Ms Arnold said work to dredge the lake and remove sludge from the bottom would help reduce flooding and added “if we can deepen it the algae and weed do not reach the sunlight”, therefore restricting their spread naturally.

Some work was done In April to control the problem when specialist operators were brought into remove the surface weed by Hagop Tchobanian, who operates concessions at the park including the pleasure boats.

He took action because the weed had been getting tangled up in the boats’ motors and oars, preventing them from being able to operate properly on the lake.