Important stage for Wallsend parks’ regeneration
Published by Elizabeth Pokorny for Kier Services in Environment and also in Local Government
The multi-million pound regeneration of Wallsend Parks has reached a crucial stage in its progress.
Since the £5.2million project started in March 2012, there has been a commitment to maintaining public access to the area wherever possible.
However, work now needs to take place simultaneously in several different locations, which means closures are required to enable contractors to safely move throughout the site.
- All of Richardson Dees Park will be closed during w/c Monday, November 19 until a phased opening in February 2013. The wooded, north area of Richardson Dees Park will however remain closed until August 2013, in line with Phase Two. This is to enable the refurbishment of the lake, resurfacing of the path networks, new tennis courts, and major re-landscaping of other parts of the park.
- To begin Phase Two of the works, Wallsend Hall Grounds will be closed during w/c Monday, December 3 until August 2013. This is to create a new summer promenade and restore Crow Bank - including rebuilding the lost footbridge and opening the underground culvert to create a new riverside walk.
Wallsend Parks consists of Richardson Dees Park, Prince Road Arboretum and Wallsend Hall grounds.
It is undergoing a £5.2 million transformation thanks to funding from North Tyneside Council as well as the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG) 'Parks for People' project. The work is being carried out by Kier North Tyneside.
Progress to date includes: the installation of wheelchair and buggy accessible paths at the north and south end of the arboretum; the erection of new internal walls as part of an extension for the bowls pavilion’s café and toilet; start of the bowling greens’ refurbishment; fitting the bandstand with scaffolding for refurbishment; a new service yard is being created, which will support the future maintenance of Wallsend Parks.
North Tyneside Elected Mayor Linda Arkley said: “The restoration and development of Wallsend Parks is progressing really well.
“Up until this point, we’ve been able to keep many areas open, including the playsite.
“However, the team has now reached a point where closures are essential to enable the work to progress efficiently and safely.
“I know that this may cause frustration for some of Wallsend Parks’ users. However, it is necessary to help towards the creation of a very special area that will be enjoyed by visitors now and many years into the future.”
Kier regional director Mike Furze said: “Wallsend Park is set to be one of the borough’s favourite beauty spots, and we are proud to have played such a key role in delivering this project for the people of North Tyneside.
“So far we have been able to keep parts of the park open while work has been carried out but unfortunately it will have to close for a short period for the health and safety of the public. We’ve chosen to do this over the winter period when the park is being used the least, and we’d like to reassure all park users that we will work as quickly as possible to have the park reopened.”
Norma Rankin, of the Friends of Wallsend Parks, said: “We are really excited about the transformation of Wallsend Parks.
“Of course, we’ll miss not being able to visit the area as normal but we understand why the closures are necessary.
“Like so many others who use the parks, we just can’t wait for when the regeneration is complete and we have a greatly improved facility.
“We have several community events planned for next year, and holding them in the newly opened part of the park will be fantastic.”
For more information about the project, visit www.northtyneside.gov.uk/wallsendparks