Park Promised Pounds 1.2m Revamp; Big Overhaul to Form Part of New Homes Project

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW GLOVER

A TYNESIDE park will be revamped to the tune of pounds 1.2m as part of a regeneration scheme.

Hodgkin Park in the Benwell and Scotswood area of Newcastle is being overhauled as part of a project that will see 1,800 homes built over the next 15 years.

The homes will be built by the New Tyne West Development Company, a partnership between the city council and developers Barratt, Keepmoat and Yuill, with the builders keen to provide a pleasant environment around the new housing.

A new games area and play meadow will be built for children to enjoy and links to a major cycling route added.

Hodgkin Park was donated to the city council by Thomas Hodgkin, a famous local banker in 1899. The 11 acre park is split by Armstrong Road and was originally the grounds of Hodgkin Park.

The improvements to the park are part of a pounds 14.7m ongoing programme of investment in Newcastle's parks which has brought about major upgrades to Leazes Park, Nunsmoor Park, Elswick Park, Paddy Freeman Park, Heaton Park and Jesmond Dene.

It was confirmed last month that Newcastle had retained 10 green flag awards in this year's judging. To build on that success work will also take place at Exhibition Park next year and a bid has been submitted for pounds 2m of funding for Walker Park.

Coun Henri Murison, the council's cabinet member for quality of life, said: "Prospective homebuyers and those looking to rent the high quality, eco-friendly family homes we are creating, as well as local people already using the park in this neighbourhood expect to see outstanding facilities, parks and public open spaces and that is what we are delivering. …