Saturday, October 03, 2015

Chase Park a Lotto winner as £1 million Lottery bid approved

Chase Park May 09 no 11

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund have awarded just under £1 million (£922,900) to local community group Friends of Chase Park (FoCP) and Gateshead Council on plans that will see them work together on the restoration and improvement of Whickham’s historic Chase Park.

This is fantastic news for the group which was established by Cllr. Peter Craig in 2009 and has worked tirelessly towards this objective since then. The award will mean that residents will be able enjoy many more facilities. The existing toddler play area will be improved, tennis courts resurfaced and teenage play and skateboard areas built.

Plans over a three year period also include a restoration project for the windmill, entrance gates, paths and ornamental gardens, installation of an outdoor gym and trim trail, development of community garden and orchard and installation of new street furniture, signs and interpretations/artworks of heritage points of interest.

A Lottery award of £66,000 was made in Spring 2014 so that the Friends of Chase Park, working with Gateshead Council, could work up the bid from the HLF. A master plan for the park was drawn up in consultation with local award-winning landscape architects Southern Green.

Chair of Friends of Chase Park, Alan Scott said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this HLF and Big Lottery Fund grant and look forward to working with Gateshead Council and Southern Green to see the plans for the renaissance of our beloved Chase Park come to fruition.

“Returning the park to its former glory will be something the whole community can be proud of for many years to come.

“So many people have worked hard to get us where we are today and I give huge thanks to everyone involved for the effort and contributions made. Who would have dreamed we would be in this position as we set out on our journey all those years ago.”

Cllr. Peter Craig, Founder of the Friends group said “I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible, with a special thank you to the individuals who have stuck with this.

“It has taken us 6 years to reach this point and we are delighted that our bid has been successful, so that a rejuvenated Chase Park can continue to play an important part at the heart of our community.”

Pictured above: the historic windmill in Chase Park, Whickham, which will undergo restoration.

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