PLANS to give part of Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens a much-needed overhaul have progressed following additional funding.

The Bournemouth Parks Foundation has now raised more than £85,000 in donations and pledges towards a new aviary in Pine Walk.

A stage one funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for additional cash to carry out the project will be made in the coming months.

Bournemouth council’s head of parks development, Michael Rowland, updated members of the Lower Central Gardens Trust Board about the project at a meeting on Monday. He also informed them about the latest work to refurbish the nearby art exhibition area.

“We’ve engaged architects whose initial work is to look at a few areas of the gardens such as the art exhibition area, which is falling to pieces,” he said.

“We’re getting pre-planning advice and advice from Historic England to look at what we can put in there. We’re also talking to artists about whether it should be in the same format or a regenerated exhibition area.”

An old kiosk opposite the aviary was replaced last year as part of the Lower Gardens ‘masterplan’, produced in 2010.

As well as a refurbishment of the Pine Walk area, the council is also developing ideas to replace the balloon catering kiosk near the entrance from the Square. The current agreement for the existing concessionaire – S&D Leisure – ends on November 10.

It is proposed that Park Cafes, run by Bournemouth Parks Service, will operate a temporary facility until plans for a permanent new kiosk are made.

Mr Rowland said work to develop concepts for the replacement of the gardens’ toilet block has also started.

“We get a lot of anti-social behaviour around the toilets, and they don’t look great with the backdrop of the cinema complex. The architect we’ve asked to do the work will be consulting with trustees on design decisions – it’s very early stages.”

Cllr Roger Boon asked if work to refurbish the art exhibition and aviary area was still on track for completion in summer 2018.

“It’s possible,” Mr Rowland said. “It depends the advice we get from planners and the feedback we get back from the trust board and Historic England.

“The key thing for us is to get it right, even if we wait one more year,” he added.