Contractor appointed for £3.5million revamp of North Marine Park in South Shields
Council bosses in South Tyneside have appointed a contractor to deliver a multi-million pound park restoration project.
Esh Constrution has been awarded the £3.2million to restore the historic North Marine Park on South Shields’ seafront.
Work will start later this summer to return the park to its original Victorian splendour as well as introducing new features, with support from a £2.4million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Preliminary works began earlier this year and the work will be undertaken in phases so that the park remains open for visitors.
Coun John Anglin, lead member for regeneration and economy, said: “This is a real milestone. After years of planning, securing funding and developing detailed proposals, our vision for the site is about to start taking shape.
“North Marine Park is a jewel in the borough’s crown and an important part of our cultural heritage.
“For more than a century it has been a favourite spot for local people and visitors and our commitment to restoring it will ensure that this beautiful, calm haven will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.”
The work, which is expected to take around 12 months, will involve creating better links with Littlehaven Promenade and improving the area around the Lawe Top, which as the park’s highest point, acts as an incredible viewing platform for the coastline, harbour and mouth of the river.
The project will also involve creating a new themed play area, which will reflect the borough’s maritime links and Roman heritage, 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.
Coun Anglin added: “North Marine Park was designed to be an asset for the community and redeveloping it and restoring it to its former glory will ensure residents and visitors get the most out of this wonderful facility.”
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.