A FORGOTTEN park in the town centre is set to be turned into a memorial garden.

Warrington Borough Council says it is developing proposals in order to redevelop Marshall Gardens, situated along the Mersey opposite the Cenotaph on Bridge Foot.

Having once been a ‘picturesque focal point in the town centre’, the site – named after the ‘influential and well-respected’ Edward Marshall – has been neglected for decades.

But the council is now working with residents with links to the armed forces in rejuvenating the park as a ‘vibrant and sensory’ memorial garden for ex-servicemen.

The community figures include Lisa Billing whose son Private Daniel Wade, from Latchford, was killed aged 20 while fighting in Afghanistan in 2012.

Warrington Guardian: Daniel Wade

She said: “I came up with the idea of improving the garden on the day my son's name was put on the wall of the Cenotaph.

“I was able to cross the road into the garden for some peace.

“It was then that I thought that the gardens need revamping, to bring what was once a beautiful place back to life again.

“My hope is that this will be a community project which will be dedicated to Mr Marshall and also my son.”

Plans for the site include the clearing of overgrown trees and shrubbery, increasing security through CCTV and the installation of new railings as well as the creation of a new path, benches and bins.

Landscaping works will include the planting of ‘colourful, textured, scented flowers’ and new sculptures and signage.

Cllr Tony Higgins, the council’s executive board member for leisure and community, added: “I’m really pleased that these plans to breathe new life into Marshall Gardens are moving forward.

“The gardens, in their position opposite the Cenotaph and with their views of the river Mersey, have real potential to become a haven of peace and reflection.

“We will be working closely with the community to develop these plans, which aim to bring a green, town centre asset back into use and support the ongoing regeneration of our town centre.”

Edward Marshall was born in Lincolnshire and moved to Warrington at the age of 20 in order to work on the railways.

He become well-known for his support for the poor and was awarded an MBE for his role as chairman of the Warrington and District Joint Food Control Committee from the beginning of the Second World War onwards.

Mr Marshall died in 1983 aged 103.