Update on South Tyneside Council's multi-million-pound park restoration project
A £3.2m project to restore a South Shields seafront park to its former glory is progressing at pace.
South Tyneside Council is restoring the historic North Marine Park back to its original Victorian splendour, reinstating some of the historic park’s original features as well as introducing new elements.
Preliminary works began on site in early 2019, with the main contractor, Esh Construction starting the major construction and restoration activity in October last year.
Work has been undertaken in phases to enable the park to remain open to visitors, with the scheme due for completion in the autumn.
Latest key milestones include the reconstruction of the park’s original grotto, the refurbishment of the bowling clubhouse and green, Pier Parade entrance and park pavilion.
Work continues to progress on the restoration of the iconic Grand Promenade staircase and Lawe Top embankment footpaths and the Pier Parade and Beacons entrance railings.
As the scheme enters its final phase, a new play area reflecting the Borough’s maritime links and Roman heritage will be created.
A new adult fitness trim trail is also planned as well as new artwork installations at the performance area, grotto and site of the former Victorian pilot lookout, Trinity Towers.
New balustrades and copings will also be installed along the Sea Road wall. Improvements to the park’s street lighting, seating, footpaths, open spaces and the bowling area will complete the refurbishment scheme.
Councillor John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy at South Tyneside Council, said: “North Marine Park is one of the Borough’s best-loved parks and an important part of our cultural heritage. It’s a real haven of tranquillity.
“The restoration project has been a huge undertaking. After many years of planning, designing and securing the funding needed to restore the park, it’s really been exciting to see the progress being made and watching the new features take shape.
“The scheme not only returns the park back to its original Victorian splendour but introduces new elements to ensure it remains a firm favourite among residents and visitors alike for many more years to come. We are very much looking forward to seeing it completed later in the year.”
Key elements of the scheme include creating better links with Littlehaven Promenade and improving the area around the Lawe Top, which at the park’s highest point, acts as an incredible viewing platform for the stunning coastline, harbour and mouth of the Tyne.
The project is being supported with a £2.4m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and is being delivered following close working between the project team, Friends of North and South Marine parks, local school children and the wider community.
Steve Conn, Divisional Director at Esh Construction, said: “With the current climate bringing into focus the importance of having outdoor spaces for members of the public, we are pleased to see this heritage scheme enter the final phases of construction.
“As a local contractor, the restoration of North Marine Park is a great addition to our portfolio and adds to over £92m of schemes currently live across our civil engineering division.”