New dog exercising area and LED lighting system set for South Shields' Readhead Park after £10,000 boost from Barbour Foundation

A new dog exercising area and lighting system are set to be the latest additions coming to a much-improved park, thanks to a funding boost.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 6:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 4:53 pm

The Barbour Foundation – set up by chairwoman of the fashion brand, Dame Margaret Barbour – has awarded a £10,000 grant to the Friends of Readhead Park organisation in South Shields.

The park is popular with dog walkers and the community group want to offer a secure place for owners to spend time with their pets.

A proposed exercise area at the public facility would include LED lights that would be switched on at night.

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The Friends of Readhead Park group are delighted to receive another funding boost to help regenerate the public facility.

The funding boost comes on the back of a year that has seen the organisation turn an old bowling green into a fenced family picnic area with tables, oversee the restoration of the Readhead memorial plaque as well as the installation of a public-access defibrillator at the park.

Councillor Glenn Thompson, who chairs the group, described the envisaged transformation of the park space as a ‘community success’.

"So many fantastic things are happening in the park just now and I can only thank the many people who have supported this,” he said.

"I’d also like to thank the Barbour Foundation for not only their continued financial support but also for the genuine interest they have shown in what we’re doing.

Redhead Park has seen some big improvements in recent years.

"This, along with of course the park owners, South Tyneside Council, and the officers who have helped and supported everything that has been achieved.

"But for all the good things that have happened and what is in the pipeline to improve the park, probably the most satisfying aspect has been seeing the community pull together, the park users who give daily support, those who come out and volunteer with the group, those who make donations – it’s been a community success and it’s been incredible.”

A council spokesperson said: “We are in discussions with local councillors and the Friends group regarding these proposals, which are in the development stage.”

The park has undergone a number of changes thanks to the efforts of Friends of Readhead Park.

A preliminary sketch of the plans.

Recent initiatives include litter-picking sessions, a new plaque, planting and dementia-friendly sing-a-long events.

The Friends hope the latest initiative will encourage more people to visit the park and use the facilities.

It is hoped the new area will be completed by the end of the year.

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Redhead Park has seen some big improvements in recent years.