Fitness trail plans gets go ahead

PLANS to build a fitness trail in Bedlington will come to fruition, thanks to a grant from the SITA Trust for more than £25,000.

East Bedlington Parish Council in partnership with Northumberland County Council has received the funding boost from the SITA Trust for the project, in addition to new picnic tables, an improved audio trail and seats in the Free Wood at Bedlington Station, with access for people of all ages and abilities.

The Free Wood, which is owned by the county council, is a valued woodland along the banks of the River Blyth, which forms a part of Bedlington country park and local nature reserve.

Coun Alex Wallace, chairman of the parish council, said: “This really is good news and I know in an area of poor health and very few facilities, this will be most welcome and will benefit people of all ages and abilities by helping them to enjoy and appreciate the woods as they are now, as well as the history of this one-time famous industrial area.

‘‘Along with additional funding from our two local county councillors and the parish council, we aim to provide an improved amenity that will be enjoyed for generations. I am so proud of the work done to achieve this by all the parish councillors and local historian Barry Mead.

“We really are grateful to SITA for their financial support in this exciting project, which will be the first of its type in the former district of Wansbeck.

“We are also appreciative of the partnership that has gone into this with the county council, who are the owners.’’

The SITA Trust provides funding through the landfill communities fund - the cash is available for community and environmental groups to carry out a range of improvement projects.

The funding will also help provide improved access to the site of the former renowned Bedlington ironworks.

Coun Isabel Hunter, the county council’s executive member for infrastruture and environment, said: “The project will build on the cycleway works by the county council.’’