Park will soon have a new toilet block

From left, Les Wharton (Able Construction), Fiona Gibson, (Friends of Ridley Park), Coun Adrian Cartie (Blyth Town Council), Coun Eileen Cartie (Northumberland County Council), George Robson (Friends of Ridley Park).
From left, Les Wharton (Able Construction), Fiona Gibson, (Friends of Ridley Park), Coun Adrian Cartie (Blyth Town Council), Coun Eileen Cartie (Northumberland County Council), George Robson (Friends of Ridley Park).

Construction work for a project to improve a set of facilities at a Northumberland park has got under way.

The new toilet and office block at Ridley Park in Blyth will replace the old and outdated block that was demolished last year.

The £190,000 scheme, wholly funded by Northumberland County Council, is due for completion in May and will include fully accessible toilets and baby change facilities, as well as an adjacent office for the park maintenance staff.

Ward councillor Eileen Cartie said: “It’s great that work is under way on new modern and clean toilet facilities for the park.

“It is such a popular place, not just with local people but the thousands of visitors who come to the town every year.

“The old and outdated block didn’t complement the rest of the beautiful surroundings and I’m looking forward to seeing the work complete ahead of the summer.”

Ridley Park was established in 1904 on land donated by Viscount Matthew White Ridley. It offers a range of sporting activities, including tennis courts and bowls, as well as children’s play areas and a popular water feature.

It is increasingly becoming a tourist attraction in its own right, having sustained the coveted Green Flag status for several years and best overall park in the North East in both 2015 and 2016 as part of the Northumbria In Bloom competition.

Meanwhile, after the opening of the new changing pavilion at Broadway Playing Field in the town last year, improvements to the area are continuing with the demolition of the old and poor quality toilet block and the derelict changing room facility.

The new changing room building already provides fully accessible public toilet facilities to replace the old toilet block and the demolition work is planned to start on February 6.

Once the building is removed, the site will be re-landscaped.