UPTON Country Park supporters are celebrating after the attraction secured £1.9 million of National Lottery cash.

Now the estate can press ahead with a number of planned upgrades, which include the recreation of historical pleasure grounds and pathways.

A new welcome centre, repairs to infrastructure and the introduction of new volunteer facilities are also planned.

BCP Council tourism and leisure cabinet member Cllr Lewis Allison said: "We are extremely excited about the opportunities this funding presents to Upton Country Park, ensuring not just its survival but superb natural new features for future generations to enjoy.

"The opportunities for local people and visitors to learn about this historically important estate are incredible and I look forward immensely to seeing work begin on the new welcome centre and volunteer facility”

The grant has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

BCP Council insists one of the core beliefs at Upton Country Park is "that by giving people the opportunity to understand, value and share Poole’s rich heritage we can bring our local communities and people together."

Now the ongoing project will enter its ‘delivery’ phase, and park visitors will be able to see many of the outlined plans gathering pace.

The project will also reinstate historical pathways linking Upton House to the wider grounds and opening up three vistas that have been lost over time, to provide views down to the shoreline and across Holes Bay Nature Park.

National Lottery Heritage Fund regional director Stuart McLeod said: "Parks are an incredibly important part of community life and vital spaces for wildlife.

"Since 1994 more than £950million has been raised by National Lottery players for public parks and cemeteries and we are delighted that the future of Upton County Park is part of that story.”

A BCP Council spokesman also said a new and a wide-reaching activity programme, which includes "working closely with local schools and educational providers" will bring school visits and learning opportunities back to the park.