Plans for a £25 million city centre park in Birmingham have moved a step closer to being realised.
Proposals for an Eastside Park have beat off regional competition in the Big Lottery Fund's Living Landmarks scheme to make it to the next vital stage, it emerged last night.
The Birmingham City Council scheme is just one step away from a national shortlist which could unlock millions of pounds worth of lottery funding.
The bid team has been handed £250,000 to develop the idea further by the Big Lottery Fund, who last year invited national bids for large scale projects.
City Park would be Birmingham city centre's first municipal park for over a century. It is set to be based in the city's biggest regeneration area and will connect Eastside with Digbeth and the areas beyond the ring road to the retail core.
An international competition to select a design team for the park is being held and six leading design practices are currently developing concept designs.
The city council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration Ken Hardeman (Con Brandwood) said: "This is fantastic news for Eastside and for the city as a whole. "With the funding we receive from getting through to the next round we can really develop and strengthen our proposals so we are in the premier position to go forward to the final round.
"The creation of a great park for the people of Birmingham has been an essential part of the Eastside vision from the beginning of the development."