£900,000 grant to ‘future-proof’ two parks in South Tyneside

The bandstand at West Park, South Shields
The bandstand at West Park, South Shields

Two South Tyneside parks are to benefit from a cash injection to encourage young people not to trample their past and future underfoot.

The West Parks in Jarrow and South Shields will get a slice of a national £900,000 windfall to spur youngsters to support their upkeep for generations to come.

Around 60 parks across the country will be funded for partnerships projects under the Future Proof Parks initiative for the next three years.

The cash has been allocated by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Kick the Dust programme, which wants existing ‘friends of parks’ groups to engage with children and teenagers.

It hopes they will form life-long attachments to their local green spaces, helping preserve and protect them in the decades ahead.

In South Tyneside, the project will be led by environmental group Groundwork North East and Cumbria.

Its team will launch and run participation projects such as family fun days, conservation tasks and volunteering events.

They will train young people in leadership and decision making, event management and volunteer management, enhancing employment prospects.

Graham Duxbury, national CEO of Groundwork, said: “Future Proof Parks is a vital tool in helping to unlock the time and talents of young people and supporting Friends of Groups in their invaluable efforts to protect parks in Jarrow and South Shields.

“We look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of how the programme can involve local young people and the wider South Tyneside community over the next three years.”

The project aims to engage 880 youngsters in the North East, West Midlands, the North West and the east and west of England.