Fundraisers hope to put new sparkle into old pump room

AN HISTORIC pump room in the heart of Harrogate's Valley Gardens could soon be brought back to life with a new fundraising drive.

The Friends of Valley Gardens are raising money for the restoration and refurbishment of the grade II listed Old Magnesia Well Pump Room, built in 1858.

The volunteer group intends to convert the building into an educational centre.

As part of their fundraising efforts, the group is hosting a "Gardeners' Question Time" on Friday January 28, with expert horticultural help from Martin Fish, director of Harrogate Flower Show, Pat Clarke, chairman of West Yorkshire Hardy Plants, Chris Beard, chairman of Yorkshire in Bloom and Sue Wood, Harrogate Council's horticultural officer and In Bloom Judge.

Organiser Jane Blayney said: "We are working hard with the council to raise funds for the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room which is barely visible amongst the surrounding vegetation.

"It is intended to convert the building into an information and educational centre and in future its upkeep will be 'cost neutral' with monies raised by Friends doing tours of the gardens for tourists and visitors describing the history of the gardens and our spa heritage."

The event starts at 7pm at The Regency on East Parade.