Fight to protect Temple Memorial Park carries on after sports complex plans are withdrawn

Friends of Temple Park carrying out a litter pick around the park.
Friends of Temple Park carrying out a litter pick around the park.

A meeting to discuss the future of Temple Memorial Park will still go ahead as planned tomorrow - despite plans to build a new sporting complex on the site being dropped.

Campaigners who launched a protest to prevent the land from being developed upon say there is still work to be done to protect it from future generations.

Our focus now is on securing the park for future generations.

Gerard New

The group, known as Friends of Temple Memorial Park, was formed after plans emerged for a new sports complex which would include a clubhouse, rugby and cricket pitches, tennis and squash courts, to be run by Westoe Rugby Club.

But last week, plans submitted to South Tyneside Council were withdrawn.

However the group say they cannot “sit back and relax” and still need people to support their campaign and to attend the meeting.

Lead campaigner Gerard New said: “Things have changed, but they haven’t changed in the sense we can now just sit back and relax.

“We know the park has been threatened in the past and this was a close call.

“Our focus now, will be very much on securing the park for future generations. We still need people to get behind and support us.

“This was a tough fight. The immediate risk has been taken away, however, they could still come back at a later date.”

Since the campaign started, people have been taken it upon themselves to organise a series of litter picks in the area in a bid to make the park more attractive to residents.

Mr New added: “There is a sense of pride in the park and we have had quite a few people coming together to clean up the area which has been great to see.”

The Temple Memorial Park was gifted to the people of South Shields in recognition of their efforts during the Second World War.

Mr New said: “The focus is very much on how we can improve the park and what can be done to have it recognised as a war memorial and why it was gifted to the people.

“We would love people to come to the meeting and give their views and ideas.”

Tomorrow’s meeting will be held at Harton and Westoe Miner’s Welfare, in Low Lane, South Shields, from 7pm.