A PARK which showcased the North East’s biggest ever visitor event was today awarded £2.4m towards its revitalisation.
The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund is a major development in a community drive which began 12 years ago to upgrade Exhibition Park in Newcastle.
The HLF cash will pay for improvements such as drainage, electricity, water and sanitary provision so that the park can continue its tradition of hosting major events.
There will be new tennis and basketball courts, conservation of the listed bandstand, boathouse and croquet pavilion, work to improve access, an Edwardian-style entrance off Claremont Road, improved planting and the lake will be dredged of silt and cleaned.
“This is a very big step forward and a great community achievement,” said Keith Pimm, secretary of the Exhibition and Brandling Parks Community Trust.
The trust has already played a leading role in upgrading nearby Brandling Park and creating a sensory garden in Exhibition Park.
Work has also just started on the trust-led £96,000 Lakeside Explorer scheme at Exhibition Park to turn the Town Moor end of the site’s boating lake into a mosaic of habitats to attract wildlife and provide a leisure and learning asset for visitors and families.
The venture will see the creation of a diverse range of habitats, including deeper and shallower water levels, marsh areas, reed beds which will also filter water run off from the moor, boardwalks over the wildlife areas, dipping platforms, a viewing deck, seating and new native species planting on the lake banks.