Gateshead park wins development funding to flesh out restoration plans

Community group Friends of Chase Park and Gateshead Council have won development funding of £66,000 from Parks for People.

The money will allow them to progress detailed plans for the restoration and improvement of Chase Park in Whickham with the help of landscape architect Southern Green and Tyne & Wear Play Association.

The plans will form the basis of an application for a £921,800 grant at a later date.

Proposals so far include the conservation and restoration of heritage features in the park including the listed windmill, paths, walls and entrances, improvements to play and sports areas and increasing the number of activities and community events held in the park.

A new wildflower meadow and a community garden are also on the wish list.

The Friends of Chase Park has worked towards the bid since forming in 2009, completing a Spaceshaper exercise in 2011 alongside community consultations and winning a national Flora play park make-over competition in 2012, which saw the installation of a new junior play area in spring 2013.

Friends’ chair Alan Scott said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this money by the HLF and BIG for the development of our master plan to improve our local park for the whole community.

"We've got this far due to the tremendous effort and commitment of local residents and businesses, volunteering their time and services to support our activity and look forward to working with Gateshead Council to deliver the second round application for the full grant."

Gateshead Council's cabinet member for culture councillor Linda Green said: "With funding from central government reducing year-on-year, our ability to invest in the local community is also reduced sharply. We are therefore constantly looking for new ways to maintain and develop major assets such as Gateshead's public parks and encourage the community to play a role in safeguarding them for the future.

"The partnership with the Friends of Chase Park makes a formidable force for good.

Parks for People is jointly run by the Big Lottery and Heritage Lottery Funds, and annonced £26.5 million of funding for 15 parks and cemetaries earlier this month.

 



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