Thousands turn out to view regeneration of town’s parks

Thousands of people joined in the celebrations for the opening of refurbished parks.

Up to 5,000 people descended on Richardson Dees Park and Wallsend Hall grounds for the re-opening of Wallsend Parks following their £7m refurbishment.

The official opening of Wallsend park after its refurbishment.

The official opening of Wallsend park after its refurbishment.

Family celebrations took place in both amenities featuring circus performers, falconry displays, live music, treasure trails, bouncy castle, animal holding, children’s rides and more.

The transformation of the three Wallsend Parks – Richardson Dees Park, Prince Road Arboretum and Wallsend Hall grounds – has taken almost four years to complete.

It has been made possible due to £7m of funding including £2.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund ‘Parks for People’ programme as well as major investment from North Tyneside Council.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “This was a truly fantastic day for Wallsend with approximately 5,000 people coming along for the wonderful celebrations.

“The parks look absolutely lovely and form a key part of the council’s regeneration of Wallsend town centre.

“I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has made it happen and I must thank the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, Kier North Tyneside who carried out the restorations, council staff – but especially to the community groups and the Friends of Wallsend Parks who are so passionate and do such amazing work.”

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

Secretary Simon Dean said: “The Friends of Wallsend Parks would like to thank all parties involved 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.”