Work underway for Ashington park improvements

A multi-million pound scheme to restore an historic Ashington park to its former glory has begun in earnest.

Northumberland County Council successfully secured £2.29million National Lottery funding to rejuvenate Hirst Park, create a new play area and restore the greenhouses and buildings.

The grant, awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, is supported by contributions from the county council, as well as the town council and Ashington Leisure Partnership, bringing the total project value to £2.7m.

This week work began on the main £1.9m improvement scheme.  The primary contractor is Brambledown Landscape Services who are based in Durham and have an excellent track record in implementing park enhancement projects in the north east.

The work will include:
  • Planting of trees, shrubs and flowers throughout the park
  • A new children's play area (including a water feature)
  • A performance area on the former site of the Woodhorn disaster memorial
  • A new formal garden
  • The creation of a horticultural training building and growing area to be operated in partnership with Northumberland College.
  • A new community allotment to be operated by the Full Circle Food Project.  
  • Repairs to gates and fences
  • Improvements to paths, tennis courts, outdoor games areas.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “After a long period of consultation, design and funding applications it is great to finally get the project underway.

“So much work has gone into this scheme over the past few years to secure this funding and we’re now in a position to get spades in the ground and make this happen.

“When this is complete I hope local people and visitors alike will visit and enjoy what will be a fantastic finished project.”

Councillor Marjorie Chambers, Civic Head of Ashington, added: ”‘Successful bids of this nature require a great deal of work and I am sure residents will be pleased to know that work is now finally underway in Hirst Park.

“Ashington Town Council, as a major partner in the bid, looks forward to the park being restored to its former glory and also welcomes the creation of new facilities and initiatives that will help and support our community.”
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