A family fun day set to mark opening of regenerated parks

The rock runnel at the refurbished Wallsend Parks.
The rock runnel at the refurbished Wallsend Parks.

A special fun day is being held for all the family to celebrate the £7m restoration of Wallsend Parks.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Richardson Dees Park on Saturday, April 5, and the nearby Wallsend Hall Grounds for the ‘People’s Party in the Parks’.

Family celebrations – including circus performers, falconry displays, live music, treasury trails, bouncy castles, children’s rides – will take place at Richardson Dees Park from noon to 5pm with evening entertainment from 5pm to 8pm at Wallsend Hall Grounds.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “This wonderful celebration day is our way of thanking local people for all their help and for their ideas about the restoration of the parks.

“It’s also a big thank you for their incredible patience and for putting up with all the disruption to the parks and surrounding areas when the works were being carried out.

“Although it’s been a long process it has definitely been worth the wait, the parks now look absolutely lovely.

“Dedicated teams have returned Wallsend Parks to their former glory while transforming and updating the visitor experience for everyone from toddlers to grandparents to enjoy – they really are the ‘people’s parks’.”

Wallsend Parks has been completely renovated with 40 acres of woodland walks and gardens, a new café, tennis courts, skate park, community room, bowling greens, sculpture trail and a restored Victorian bandstand.

Ivor Crowther, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “Coupled with a dedicated local community and the hard work of all the project partners, Friends Group and North Tyneside Council, this rejuvenated park will be a fantastic local resource for years to come.”

The park also features one of the largest and most innovative state-of-the art play areas in the north east with a zip wire, climbing rock, forts, sand and water play.

Other major refurbishment work has been the restoration of a historic promenade, opening up the old watercourse and bringing back the Forgotten Orchard in Hall Grounds.

The work has been warmly welcomed by The Friends of Wallsend Parks.

Simon Dean, secretary, said: “The Friends of Wallsend Parks would like to thank all parties involved – North Tyneside Council’s park staff, Kier and contractors and the HLF and Big Lottery Fund – for helping renew such a wonderful green space.

“No one can doubt that what has transpired in the past year is definitely the best thing that has happened to Wallsend Parks in living memory.

“The Friends will continue to support the works and cannot be happier with the result; it’s been long overdue.”

Kier North Tyneside regional director, Mike Furze, said: “The major regeneration of Richardson Dees Park has been an important project bringing transformational and modern up to date recreational facilities to the people of North Tyneside.

“We are delighted to have been involved in the works upgrading the park for local people to enjoy now and for future generations.”

As well as providing capital investment in the parks, North Tyneside Council has employed a team of Park Keepers, apprentices, park wardens and an educational warden to maintain Wallsend Parks and ensure they continue to involve local schools and community groups with outdoor learning, activities and volunteering.