Work completed to improve North Tyneside park

Chris Kelsey, of the Banks Group; Neil Hodgson, local environmental services team leader at North Tyneside Council; and members of the Friends of Benton Quarry Park committee John Ryan, Jenny Linley and Lionel Hehir.
Chris Kelsey, of the Banks Group; Neil Hodgson, local environmental services team leader at North Tyneside Council; and members of the Friends of Benton Quarry Park committee John Ryan, Jenny Linley and Lionel Hehir.

A four-year community-led project to reinvigorate a neglected North Tyneside park has been completed.

The Friends of Benton Quarry Park has completed work on installing a substantial new drainage system in the central area of the park that was previously susceptible to flooding and was often unusable for several months of the year as a result.

They were supported by a £10,000 grant from The Banks Group, which helped unlock additional funding from other sources.

Site investigation and landscape design work was carried out by North Tyneside Council, which has also reseeded the area, while local contractor Seymour Construction carried out the required engineering works on site.

The Friends have also improved and extended the network of footpaths around the park to make it accessible to all users, with road planings and other materials from the Silverlink and Coast Road roadworks being donated by project contractor Lagan Construction.

Wooden seating built by service users at Key Enterprises in North Shieldsis also to be installed around the park.

Set up four years ago, The Friends of Benton Quarry Park group is led by a core of eight volunteers

Lionel Hehir, chair of the Friends group, says: “Benton Quarry Park is an invaluable green oasis within our urban area, but the structure of the ground meant that water wasn’t able to drain away as it should and so left the ground very wet or completely flooded through the winter months.”

“The Friends group was formed to develop and implement a clear plan to resolve this situation, and we’ve had a lot of support from across the community and from North Tyneside Council towards making it happen.

“The new drainage system means that people will be able to use the park all year-round, while being able to reuse material from the Silverlink junction is an environmentally-effective way for us to have improved the footpaths and made them accessible for everyone.

“The park looks so much nicer as a result of everything that’s been done, and is being used by a growing number of people from every part of our community.

“We wouldn’t have been able to make this project happen without the initial support we received from The Banks Group, and it will make a massive difference to all parts of our community for many years to come.”

Chris Kelsey, communications manager at the Banks Group, said: “The Friends group has been a real driving force towards getting this project off the ground and carried out, and the difference it has made to the park is fantastic.

“It will bring a huge range of long-term health and environmental benefits to the local community, and we’re very pleased to have played a role in making it happen.”