Walker Park Official Opening - 13th September 2016
Brambledown Landscape Services Ltd have completed the £1.8 million restoration of Walker Park in Newcastle. A heritage Lottery funded scheme, the restoration of Walker Park is the second that Brambledown have undertaken for Newcastle City Council on the same Park. The last being in 1988.
This particular restoration of Walker Park took Brambledown 10 months, and helped employ around 50 people, directly and indirectly through our supply chain.
Walker Park now features some incredible pieces of design and places for the public to visit and enjoy. The main features of the Park include an outdoor amphitheatre, the construction of the cafe and YMCA Building, new footpaths and roads, monument and statue installation, Multi Use Games Area Construction, fencing, Play Area and Skate Park Construction, entrance pillars, sports pitch drainage, gates, lighting, drainage, block paving, walls, footbridge construction, tree and shrub planting, garden formation, safety surfacing, information boards, soiling, seeding and thousands of shrub planting.
The official opening of Walker Park was carried out on Saturday 3rd September by Newcastle City Council and the Heritage Lottery foundation. Brambledown carried out the scheme alongside trusted Landscape Architects TGP. Metro FM were also present, along with a huge funfair organised by the Park Rangers and the Friends of Walker Park Newcastle.
The restoration work has included improvements to key park facilities including the park centre, play area, amphitheatre, re-surfacing of footpaths, the installation of new park furniture and the replacement of its statue of the poet Robert Burns.
The contractors for the project were Brambledown Landscape Services and TGP architects.
In its heyday the 1901 park was a crucial resource for workers in what was a heavily industrialised area.
Saturday’s Walker Park Festival from 11am to 5pm has a variety of free entertainment including live music from The Caffreys, The Odd Bunch, Rose Parade; street theatre from The Bread And Butter Theatre Company; a bubbleologist; arts and crafts displays; birds of prey; sporting events; climbing wall and medieval displays. A fun fair with a small charge and a range of food stalls will also be on offer.
City council cabinet member for culture and communities Kim McGuinness said: “The reopening of Walker Park shows our commitment we’ve made as a council to protect our green and social spaces that are at the centre of communities for residents and an asset to the city when we welcome visitors to the region.
“ Our parks are essential to the health of our residents. They provide a great natural backdrop for people to get active; walk, run, play, football, tennis and other sports as well as for people to simply enjoy the park and its surroundings, spend time with family and friends and just relax.
“The investment we’ve made in the park, along with our HLF partner will ensure that Walker Park continues to be an active location at the heart of the community for residents to enjoy for years to come.”
David Wood, chairman of the Walker Ward Committee, said: “This is a great moment in the recent history of Walker Park, as the residents have a park they can yet again be proud of. The ward councillors listened to the needs of local people and worked tirelessly to help bring it back to its former glory. “We are delighted with the results of the renovation work.”
Ivor Crowther, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “This year marks the 125th anniversary of the opening of Walker Park as a much-needed open space for the community.
“Today our parks continue to play vital role in our lives – for our wellbeing, a place to spend time together and as a connection to nature and our history. Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in this project, the support of the local community and of course National Lottery players, we can celebrate the beginning of a bright future for this much-loved park.”