Derelict pavilion in Jarrow's West Park to be demolished within days after campaigners lose their battle

Campaigners have lost their battle to save a park’s dilapidated bowling pavilion from demolition and rebuild it to its former glory.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 3:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 4:11 pm
The derelict Ladies Pavilion

Council chiefs have confirmed they will start to flatten the structure in Jarrow’s West Park within days.

Known at the Ladies’ Pavilion, they insist it is unsafe, their fears heightened by the possibility children on their school holidays may try to access the site.

They also claimed it was not financially viable to invest in the pavilion’s future, despite campaigners raising £4,000 of a £20,000 target for repairs.

Coun Joan Atkinson, lead member for Area Management and Community Safety, had stated: “The roof of this single storey building is disintegrating.

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“With the impending school holidays, current light nights and the ease of access this could be a temptation to children and young people and that’s a risk that is simply too great to ignore.

“It is simply not practical to refurbish this building and I would urge campaigners to think about the serious risks to public safety this building in its current state poses.”

A spokeswoman for South Tyneside Council said: “Demolition is imminent, it will start within days.”

The West Park Community Group (WPCG), which had raised the cash and collected an 800-name support petition, could not be contacted for comment.

But it had questioned the logic of knocking down a structure that volunteers were willing to pay to have saved and rebuilt.

Chairwoman Alison Docherty claimed the council had offered to knock down the pavilion and built a new structure, but at a cost to campaigners of £70,000.

The pavilion is one of two at the site, the other of which is still used by crown green bowlers.

From the mid-1980s the council used it to store machinery and as a place for park keepers to take breaks, but it fell into disrepair when that service was disbanded.

The WPCG had alleged the building would be gifted it by the council if funds could be found to replace its roof.

The £4,000 raised came from music events, coffee mornings and from community and business sponsorship.

Members insist they had received quotes for the renovation work reveal, and a project to save it was cost effective.