The Friends of the Pump Room Gardens (FPRG) were formed in 2008 as a combination of four groups: Central Leamington Residents Association, Royal Leamington Spa Building Conservation Trust, Warwickshire Gardens Trust and the Leamington Society, to achieve two major projects.
1. The replacement of dilapidated and missing Linden Arches.
Beautifully decorated new arches were completed and opened by HRH the Duke of Gloucester in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Funding came from Warwick District Council (WDC) and a wide range of private and commercial donors.
2. The restoration and improvement of the gardens: increasing the seating (from nine to 31 benches); re-laying paths; clearing the riverbank to reveal the river Leam; planting the bank with low-level vegetation as a wild-life corridor; improving the drainage; introducing a rockery and collection area for rainwater to create the Rain Garden at the west end. Naturally the works included the full-scale restoration of the 1889 bandstand – the focal point of the gardens.
This cost £1.4 million. £1 million came from the Heritage Lottery Fund; the Friends raised £100,000 from generous local donors, and the remainder was funded by WDC.
A condition of the HLF grant is that the project must include a programme of community activities; these are currently directed by the WDC Community Engagement Officer.
The FPRG are now managed by the Leamington Society.