A SOUTH Derbyshire park has been granted protected status and thousands of pounds towards a skatepark as part of ambitious plans to revamp the area.
The Friends of Newhall Park community group will work alongside South Derbyshire District Council and Derbyshire County Council to also bring new outdoor gym equipment, a play area, seating and a memorial gate to the park.
The plans, which are still in their infancy, received a boost when the park was granted protected status under the Queen Elizabeth Fields Challenge and the district council announced it had set aside £20,000 for the skatepark.
Derbyshire county councillor for Newhall and Midway Sean Bambrick also donated £500 to the skatepark from the county council’s community fund.
He said: “I’m always pleased when we can get something done with the park.
“With the size of Newhall the use of the playing fields is vitally important.
“This is something that Newhall needs because we are short of facilities.”
Councillor Bambrick added that pupils from Newhall’s William Allitt School will also help to raise funds for the skatepark.
Barry Woods, chairman of Friends of Newhall Park, told the Mail the group was ‘very grateful’ for councillor Bambrick’s donation.
Mr Woods said: “Our park is a sound base but lacks amenities for the residents of Newhall’s leisure time.
“We have looked at what needs to be done with the park but now we need to fund-raise.
“There are about six different projects which will take a number of years to get through but we want the park to look respectable.
“The basics are there but it needs additions.
“There’s nothing for the older children and we want a memorial for the soldiers from Newhall who died in the wars.
“There are lots of different projects but the skatepark is the start.”
A spokesman from the district council said it is still ‘early days’ for the plans but added: “We are working with Friends of Newhall Park to achieve their vision.
“The field has been named in the Queen Elizabeth Fields Challenge which will protect it for future years and hopefully open up other funding options.”