Climbing area and better parking among upgrades to parks in Choppington, Bedlington, and Cramlington set for council approval

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Councillors are expected to approve funding for a new outdoor climbing facility in Northumberland among a series of park improvement proposals coming before the cabinet next week.

Plessey Woods Country Park, between Bedlington and Cramlington, is set for a £159,000 investment in a bouldering and climbing facility, if Northumberland County Council’s administration approves the proposal.

£19,000 worth of car park improvements at Gallagher Park in Bedlington are also set to be approved, as are the final proposals for improvements to Cleaswell Hill Park in Guide Post.

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Councillor Colin Horncastle, cabinet member for looking after our environment, said: “We are committed to ensuring our parks and green spaces are well managed and maintained, and to invest in them so that they continue to act as vibrant, living spaces that bring communities together and provide opportunities to connect with nature.

The playground at Cleaswell Hill Park is set for an upgrade. (Photo by Northumberland County Council)The playground at Cleaswell Hill Park is set for an upgrade. (Photo by Northumberland County Council)
The playground at Cleaswell Hill Park is set for an upgrade. (Photo by Northumberland County Council)

“We are working with local communities to understand what improvements could work for them and we are confident that these latest ones will be well received.

“These schemes are just part of our on-going major investment and improvement programme in our parks and green spaces with more to follow, as we know how important they are for people’s health and wellbeing.”

Plessey Woods’ proposed free-standing climbing structure will be designed to look realistic and provide many different rock types that can be climbed in many different styles.

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The council said its research indicated a demand for the structure among the county’s existing climbers, but also that a free-to-access facility of this sort would allow non-climbers to get involved, helping them to keep fit.

It will be funded from the county council’s parks enhancement capital programme, councillors’ local improvement funds, and Section 106 contributions from developers.

The car park improvements put forward for Gallagher Park involve resurfacing the car park and adding new bays to reduce parking issues during sports fixtures and make the area safer.

A new fence will also be installed to prevent people parking in places they are not allowed to.

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The county council has already approved £200,000 of funding for Cleaswell Hill Park, and is now expected to sign off on the final proposals for installing a new inclusive play area, landscaping, and footpaths, as well as welcoming an extra £40,000 for the project from Choppington Parish Council.