Work on a £729,000 restoration project at Tunstall Park – that will improve the venue for young and old visitors alike – is now under way.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is delivering the investment into the venue, also known as Victoria Park, which is one of the city’s heritage parks and is Grade II listed.

The work being carried out will see a range of improvements made to the park, including:

Boathouse: new roof, drainage, windows, doors, lighting, CCTV and external brickwork repairs.

Bandstand: repair work to the roof, repainting and the installation of an electricity supply for future outdoor events and performances.

Park gates: main entrance gates to be fully restored, including brickwork repairs and railing restoration, Victoria Park entrance gate to be restored and widened to accommodate outdoor events, Little Chell Lane entrance to be restored including brickwork repair.

Dell area: old picnic furniture to be removed, area to be fully landscaped and opened up with paths running through, hedges to be reduced in height and fencing to be introduced to the perimeter of the site.

Play area: intermediate play area to be resurfaced and seating to be painted. The toddler play area will be cleaned with seating and railings repainted.

Footpath: Selected footpaths in the park will be resurfaced.

Site furniture: Old seating will be replaced by new seating at selected areas, including new information boards.

The project, which has been developed in consultation with the Friends of Tunstall Park, is expected to be completed in February 2021. Long-term, it is planned for the boathouse to be made available for a future use to be determined at a later date.

Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing and environment, said: “We’re very lucky here in Stoke-on-Trent to have so many fantastic parks and green spaces spread across the city. We know the park is well-used and much-loved by the community, from dog walkers to skaters and children enjoying the play equipment, and people who just want to relax or have a walk.

“Parks are fantastic spaces for people to stay fit and healthy and enjoy some much needed time out. The positive impact they can have on physical and mental wellbeing can never be underestimated, and what is why we are making this investment. One thing the coronavirus pandemic has shown us is how important quality outdoor spaces are so friends and family can meet up with one another and continue to socialise.

“I’m pleased we’re at the point now where this investment in the park is being delivered and work is under way to make this popular venue an even better place for people to come and visit. Along with the £4 million we are investing in restoring Tunstall Town Hall, and the work set to get under way soon to resurface High Street, we’re showing a clear commitment to making the town a great place to live, work and visit.”

Councillor James Smith, the city council’s heritage champion, said: “This is another example of how we are investing in our city’s heritage and it complements the work taking place a short distance away at Tunstall Town Hall. These are two really positive investments into the future of the town by the council.”

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