Council chiefs are keeping their fingers crossed as they await the outcome of a multi-million pound funding bid to restore a seafront park in South Shields to its former glory.
North Marine Park has been earmarked to undergo restoration work to help retain the park’s Victorian heritage.
South Tyneside Council has secured a development grant of £194,00 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable it to work with the Friends of North and South Marine Parks group to take proposals forward.
Now, after they have submitted a Round Two bid for £2.45m in National Lottery money from the HLF, they have an anxious wait to see if they are successful.
If awarded the grant, it could see work start on the site next year.
Coun Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader for South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “The bid for the next round of funding is a key milestone in our plans to transform North Marine Park.
This space is much loved by local people and it will be wonderful to see the whole space enhanced and its heritage reinstated.Christine Calvert
“This beautiful space is an important part of our cultural heritage and we are keen to see it preserved so that families can continue to enjoy it for many more years to come. The council has done a lot of work with the Friends of the parks group over recent months to help shape proposals for the site.”
The project includes creating better links between the park and Littlehaven Promenade and Seawall, improving the area around the Lawe Top, which acts as an incredible viewing platform for the South Shields coastline, the harbour and mouth of the river, a new themed play area and restoring the park’s original features such as the grotto and the grand promenade staircase. Improvements to the park’s open areas, lighting, seating, footpaths and bowling area are also planned.
Christine Calvert, Chairman of the Friends of North and South Marine parks, said: “Our members have the interests of the park at their hearts and are committed to its protection and upkeep to ensure it continues to flourish for the future. This space is much loved by local people and it will be wonderful to see the whole space enhanced and its heritage reinstated.”
North and South Marine Parks opened in June 1890. The northern park was created on 7.5 hectares of former ballast hills, with more space dedicated to trees, pathways and shrubbery, providing a more tranquil space than its southern neighbour and offering gentle pastimes such as bowling and petanque.