Celebrations as park gets £2.45million restoration

Some of those gathered at the 'battlements' in Wharton Park in Durham to celebrate the cash boost to carry out improvements. The park is something of a hidden gem, but provides spectactular views of the historic city and its cathedral.

Some of those gathered at the 'battlements' in Wharton Park in Durham to celebrate the cash boost to carry out improvements. The park is something of a hidden gem, but provides spectactular views of the historic city and its cathedral.

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EVERYONE who helped a park scoop restoration cash has been taking part in a celebration to mark their achievement.

The Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund confirmed it has awarded £2.45million to return Wharton Park in Durham to its former glory and carry out a host of improvements.

Additional funding from Durham County Council, which has led the project, along with Durham Area Action Partnership and other sources, brings the total cash pot up to £3million.

The experts are set to work alongside the Friends of Wharton Park to turn the proposals into a reality.

The project includes launching a heritage centre and café, new play areas, outdoor health and fitness equipment and improvements the battlements, amphitheatre and paths in the ground.

Work will also be carried out for management and maintenance to protect it for future generations.

Jobs and young apprentices will be created in the park and the award-winning Haggrid project, which provides horticultural training for 20 young people a year from Framwellgate School, will be supported over the next five years.

Ivor Crowther, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the North East, said: “This investment will help unlock the potential of Wharton Park so it can be restored and opened up for local people to enjoy.”

Construction work is expected to begin later this year.