Funding boost for sculpture trail in Berwick Parks

24 Jul 2017

Northumberland County Council is celebrating a £10,064 funding boost from SUEZ Communities Trust (formerly SITA Trust) which will see the creation of a sculpture trail in Berwick’s parks.

The Berwick Castle Parks Sculpture Trail 2017 project will be based on local animals and plants and will add educational and imaginative play opportunities for children within the park.

The sculptures will be suitable for climbing and sitting on as well as being attractive to look at and helping to enhance experiences for park visitors.

The project has been developed by the Friends of Castle Parks, working in partnership with the county council and Berwick Town Council. The project has also benefited from a private donation.

Eight local first schools are involved in helping to produce designs and the project has identified a sculptor, David Gross, who is working with them to produce sculptures based on their designs.

One design is being selected from each school to install in the park, along with a sculpture of the iconic Berwick Bear, which is depicted on the town’s official crest.

Cllr Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services at Northumberland County Council, said: “The funding is fantastic news for Berwick Parks. These recreational spaces have had a renaissance in recent years, after a successful Heritage Lottery Funded improvement programme for Castle Vale Park and Coronation Parks.”

“We are delighted to have been awarded this funding for what will be a further improvement scheme - adding new interest and entertainment for residents and visitors and making these great parks even better.”

Pete Sessions of SUEZ Communities Trust added “We are thrilled to have been able to support this wonderful project.  SUEZ Communities
Trust provides grants through the Landfill Communities Fund. This important source of funding is celebrating its 20th year and in that time has provided such worthy projects with more than £1.4 billion.”

The project is strongly supported by the Berwick Wildlife Group, and Stephen Block, chair of the group, added: “We fully support the idea of commissioning an artist/sculptor who will work with the local children on the conception and creation of the sculptures. This will not only benefit the children artistically, it should be a stimulus to imaginative outdoor play.

“Also, as they will be required to research interesting facts about the plants and animals that will be the subjects in the trail, the children’s’ scientific and environmental knowledge will increase.

“This is the sort of project that looks to a future generation and will capitalise on the fine work that has gone into both of Berwick’s Castle Parks in the last few years.

Funding for the sculpture trail project has also been gained from Berwick Town Council and through a private donation.