£10k sees eyesore turned into park

Friends of Highfield Road Park have transformed a bowling green into a community garden.
Friends of Highfield Road Park have transformed a bowling green into a community garden.
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AN eyesore is on track to become a perfect community park thanks to a £10,000 funding boost.

The Friends of Highfield Park secured the cash to transform a disused piece of land between St Martin’s Road and Highfield Road, South Shore.

The Friends group lobbied Blackpool Council after it said it would be forced to close two bowling greens on the land due to spending cuts last year.

They have since applied for funding grants to save one of the greens for a youth bowling team and convert the other into a community garden, pulling in more than £10,000 for the project.

Karen Pennington, secretary of the Friends group, said: “Hopefully this will be good for the area, we’ve done some local consultation and want to get as many people involved as possible.”

The group has worked closely with Iain Girvan, from the council’s Neighbourhood Services South team, to realise their plans for the park, which include creating raise beds, a picnic area and disabled friendly walkways.

A £5,600 grant from the South Shore Area Forum allowed the group to start work last May, creating walkways and digging flower beds, soon to be filled with thousands of pounds worth of flowers.

A further £2,000 came from the Co-operative and the same amount from First Transpennine Express via the Forestry Commission.

The North England Horticultural Society donated £200, while £600 came from Blackpool Council.

Cash from a friends fun day and the Blackpool Environment Action Team (BEAT) also helped towards the total.

Mrs Pennington added: “We are sure many local families will enjoy relaxing and using the new garden furniture in the planted area once everything is installed.”

The community garden is due to open in April.

Chris Maughan, ward councillor for Highfield, said: “This work is a great example of what can happen when the council works with local residents and organisations to lobby and improve their area.

“Highfield Park looks much better now thanks to the work and will provide a nicer environment for residents.”

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