WORK is almost complete on a major project to improve a popular Wearside park.
Nearly £80,000 in funding was secured to install new paths, plants and matting at Doxford Park.
The Lake Rejuvenation Project will also improve wildlife and water quality at the popular attraction.
Colin Barksby, from the Friends of Doxford Park community group, which helped arrange the funding, said: “We are delighted that work is well under way on the Lake Rejuvenation project.
“It has taken a lot of time and effort to get to this stage, as we started the application process in September 2009.
“We were granted £35,000 from Sunderland City Council and a further £43,000 from the Community Spaces programme.”
Work on the project, which started last year, is expected to be completed before the end of June .
It followed an extensive public consultation process involving hundreds of questionnaires.
“A total of 872 questionnaires were given out as part of our public consultation and 82.6 per cent of respondents stated that the lake and cascade area was their main concern,” said Mr Barksby.
“The grant is to be used to improve these areas with a new path around the lake, coir matting and planting should improve the water quality and support the local wildlife.
“Unfortunately, we cannot have the cascade working again due to the amount of funding we would need, but we are looking to improve the appearance of it.”
Mr Barksby, who was also project leader, said the redevelopment will make a “massive difference” to the park, also known as the Secret Garden.
“It is a very, very popular spot for families,” he said. “It has taken a long time to arrange the funding, about two years, but it will be worth it in the end.
“Stage one has been completed and stage two will be finished in June.”
For more information about the Friends of Doxford Park, visit www.doxfordpark.org.uk.