Park to undergo a £110k makeover

County Councillor Alyson Wallace, with Emma Evans of Northumberland County Council.
County Councillor Alyson Wallace, with Emma Evans of Northumberland County Council.

A major programme of improvements to spruce up a park is to get under way.

Bedlington’s Doctor Pit Park is in line for a makeover, thanks to £110,000 from Banks Mining Community Fund and the SITA Trust (now known as Suez Communities), as well as Northumberland County Council and West Bedlington Town Council.

Improvements are due to start in the next few weeks and be completed in time for summer 2017.

The cash will improve the park’s infrastructure and footpaths, with tree-planting, landscaping, buy a new multi-use games area, a SONA interactive dance and play arch, and new play equipment.

Local people will join school pupils and members of the youth service to help plant 23 species of trees, replacing a number of sick and overgrown conifers which are being taken out to improve safety and visibility in the park.

Coun Alyson Wallace, who put some of her ward funding towards the scheme, said: “This project will help to improve the visitor experience as well as the overall attractiveness of the park.

“And by thinning out some of the older and less healthy trees, we hope to be able to create a more open environment where people feel safer and more confident using the park. I would like to thank all our funding partners for helping bring this to fruition.”

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for Local Services, added: “This is a genuinely exciting programme of work that will have a significant impact on the attractiveness of the park.”

“Local people have already played an active role in helping to design the improvements, and hopefully they will continue to do so with our upcoming series of community events.

“The tree-planting will introduce healthier, more manageable trees to replace the conifers that have come to dominate the park and are in a poor condition, and this will also help to ensure the park is more open and accessible for everyone to enjoy.”

The project was identified as an investment priority as part of Northumberland County Council’s capital improvement programme, and follows a major review of the park and a series of public consultations.

Marianne Ivin, of SUEZ Communities Trust, added: “This is a great project that has had a lot of local community involvement. The improvements to the park are clearly welcomed and the added horticultural elements to the park will bring everything together to create a park suitable for everyone to enjoy.”

Further improvements being considered include improvements to the skatepark, in response to a survey of more than 50 young people, and a heritage-based project in partnership with Leading Link.

For more information or to get involved in the park’s makeover, contact Emma Evans, Parks and Playing Fields Monitoring and Development Officer, at emma.evans@northumberland.gov.uk