Petition launched to save South Tyneside park pavilion is winning support

Campaigners have hit out over the planned demolition of a South Tyneside park’s derelict bowling pavilion.

Friday, 14th June 2019, 05:00 am
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 16:10 pm
West Park Community Group campaign to save derict Ladies Pavilion, with chair Alison Docherty and her team

They have already raised £4,000 and gathered an 800-name support petition for their plans for the Ladies’ Pavilion in Jarrow’s West Park.

But the West Park Community Group (WPCG) says it has hit a brick wall with South Tyneside Council, which it alleges is intent on flattening the building.

West Park Community Group campaign to save derict Ladies Pavilion

The group admits planners have offered to build a new wooden structure in its place – but only if they fund the proposed £70,000 costs themselves.

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Members insist saving the pavilion, which closed around a decade ago and is exposed to the elements through a damaged roof, is a vital long-term community goal.

Chairwoman Alison Docherty said: “Why knock something down that doesn’t need knocking down when it can be renovated at a fraction of the cost of building something new which we don’t want?

“The council has said it will demolish the pavilion and built a new structure in its place but that it will cost £70,000 and we must raise the money.

West Park Community Group campaign to save derict Ladies Pavilion, with chair Alison Docherty

“The pavilion is now just one big space inside and there is damage from the wind and rain, but we reckon it could be renovated for £20,000.”

She added: “We’ve raised some of the money and have people who will do a lot of the work free of charge.

“We want somewhere that we can open up to the public so that people who may feel isolated have somewhere to go.

“The brick building has been and is part of the landscape of the park and a wooden replacement would have a detrimental visual impact to the area.”

South Tyneside Council said: “It is considered uneconomical to repair this dilapidated building to the required standards with the funds available.

“It would be more cost-effective to install a new purpose-built structure on the site for community use and we have been working with a group to develop a solution that would fulfil their ambition for such a space with the potential funds that might be raised.”