Blooming great effort by group

Volunteers help place the new plants in Whitley Bay town centre. Picture by Karl Pijnen.

Volunteers help place the new plants in Whitley Bay town centre. Picture by Karl Pijnen.

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Volunteers are helping make a town centre looking blooming marvellous.

A team of green-fingered enthusiasts has transformed a number of existing on-street planters into mini coastal gardens for all-year-round in Whitley Bay.

The planters look fantastic and really enhance the look and feel of the town centre

Helen Frankenburg, Whitley Bay Big Local board member

It is part of a scheme by Big Lottery funding Whitley Bay Big Local, which has been working with horticultural artist and local resident Emma Norris.

The volunteers painted the planters in a co-ordinated range of heritage grey, cream, blue and green – the adopted colours of Whitley Bay – as well as planting a range of plants and flowers.

Helen Frankenburg, Whitley Bay Big Local board member, said: “The planters look fantastic and really enhance the look and feel of the town centre.

“We hope the town centre planters will encourage residents to replicate with their own planters, window boxes and hanging baskets at home.”

The planters’ project is only one small part of the Whitley Bay Big Local’s plans to help improve the look and feel of the town; plans to plant more shrubs and trees and to create areas for people of all ages to sit and relax in Whitley Bay Park are currently underway as are community led projects to create communal edible gardens throughout residential streets in the Big Local area.

Whitley Bay Big Local’s proposal to develop the site of the former Avenue Public House on Whitley Bay’s seafront will unfortunately no longer be going ahead, because the clearance of the site has taken longer than was first estimated.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We were all keen to see the development of the cleared Avenue site as a temporary garden, and we were delighted by the proposals that the Whitley Bay Big Local group had put forward.

“Unfortunately, unavoidable delays have meant that we’ve missed the opportunity to create the garden this year, which I know is disappointing news for all involved.

“However, I’m delighted to hear that the Big Local group, together with their enthusiastic volunteers, have used the change in plans to channel their energies into these fantastic town centre planters.

“It’s wonderful to see the Whitley Bay community come together in this project to enhance the appearance of their town.

“These planters will be a lovely addition to the council-managed displays in the town centre area and along the seafront, and will help to make the area look even more attractive for residents and visitors.

“I’m really looking to seeing the planters as they bloom right across the year.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with the Whitley Bay Big Local can visit the Whitley Bay Big Local Shop on Park View or email volunteer@whitleybaybiglocal.co.uk