GUNNERSBURY Park is to benefit from almost £4.7m of Heritage Lottery funding.

The project by neighbouring Ealing and Hounslow boroughs aims to transform the 186-acre park.

Restoration work begins in the autumn and planned improvements include:

• Building a brand new café to replace the current one

• Re-introducing boating on the Round Pond

• Restoring the Orangery, archways, terrace and other listed structures

• Reinstating lost park features, such as the Horseshoe Pond.

As well as the physical transformation, a major part of the Gunnersbury project involves introducing new events, services and educational programmes that will allow more people to take advantage of it.

Initiatives, like free horticultural training sessions, a community orchard and planned mini-beast safaris, will appeal to nature lovers, while guided walks and nature trails should be well used.

Park visitors are expected to increase from 600,000 to more than a million each year once improvements are complete.

Both councils have submitted a bid for further HLF funding to enable them to also restore and remodel Gunnersbury Museum.