New initiative launched to restore South Shields 'gem' Readhead Park

A new group has been formed to restore the popular Readhead Park in South Shields to its former glory.

Thursday, 20th June 2019, 09:31 am
Councillor Glenn Thompson by graffiti in Readhead Park

Independent councillor, Glenn Thompson, who was elected to represent the Westoe ward in May, has set up the Friends of Readhead Park charity group, believing the park can once again be a “real attraction” for the people of South Shields.

Coun Thompson said local residents had been concerned about the state of the park.

Councillor Glenn Thompson in Readhead Park

Some provisional funding has been agreed to implement phase one of the scheme.

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This will include improvements to the bowls club building and maintainence of the green, and the introduction of additional picnic tables and litter bins, with a view to making the Old Bowls green a dogs on lead only area.

It will also look at the possibility of new tarmac coverings on the pathways and picnic tables for the children’s play area compound.

Coun Thompson is now appealing to members of the community to volunteer to help put these plans in place.

A historical view of Readhead Park

"Historically it was a gem in the town, it was fantastic. People used to come for an afternoon out and use the facilities,” he said.

“Now most of the facilities are in a very poor state. It’s nothing like it should be, that’s the bottom line. It needs a community-based approach.”

“When I had my campaign for election, 90% of people were really upset about the condition of the park. There was an awful lot of support, and that has continued. I’m convinced it’s important to get this initiative going.

“I think there’s a growing opinion that parks in this financial climate are very important for the community.”

The Friends of Readhead Park group will have a stall at the Westoe Village Fair on Saturday where CounThompson will be on hand to discuss the initiative, and people can register their interest.

He added: “Once I’ve got a good group of people together, then meetings will be arranged to discuss the initiative and we can work out an approach.”

Follow the Westoe Ward Facebook page for updates on the initiative.