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Potters Fields Park: director appointed

As the transformation of Potters Fields Park continues, Stephen Cornford has been appointed as director of the management trust that will look after the rejuvenated open space.

Stephen Cornford
Stephen Cornford

The Potters Fields Park Management Trust is a not-for-profit legacy organisation spearheaded by the Pool of London Partnership (PLP), a SRB partnership that winds down next March after a ten-year investment programme.

The Trust will take over responsibility of managing the open space on the Thames riverside when the current 3 million refurbishment is completed.

Stephen Cornford, the new director, comes from a strong background in heritage, tourism and conservation through his work managing National Trust properties in the North of England.

Stephen explains how the new trust will operate: "We will use money generated through a controlled number of public and private events and revenue from the new kiosk to reinvest back into the park to provide long-term, high-quality and dedicated management and maintenance services for a quality open space for years to come for local residents, workers and visitors to the area."

The nature and frequency of the events held in the park is likely to prove a sensitive issue, with the local disruption and damage to the park caused by the 2003 David Blaine stunt still a fresh memory for many of the park's neighbours.

The director's role will involve getting the new organisation established then overseeing the day-to-day management and maintenance of the park and, in consultation with the local community, developing and managing an education and community programme.

In June the investment in the park was criticised by London Assembly chairman Brian Coleman who said that he would prefer the space to be turned into a multi-storey car park.

The long-term future of the adjacent Potters Fields coach park and former St Olave's Grammar School is still unknown and is dependent on a way forward being agreed by Berkeley Homes – who have planning permission for a development on the site – and Southwark Council which owns much of the coach park.

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