Boost for South Park
South Park is a much loved park for all the family which has been enjoyed by generation after generation. Darlington Borough Council continues to invest in the park and maintain it, however, with more limited resources there are opportunities for how our community could help South Park and add to what is already invested.
Last Spring South Park saw some vandalism to the children’s play area. Groundwork NE & Cumbria helped to set up a crowdfunding appeal and £24,000 was raised within four months, which allowed the damaged equipment to be replaced. This highlighted the importance and significance of the park and the support from local people and businesses to see it kept in good repair.
Representatives, including members of the local business community, “Friends” group and Darlington’s Round Table, have formed a new group called Darlington South Park Foundation. Their initial priorities are to strategically look at further enhancing the park, in addition to the work the Council is responsible for to ensure the park’s sustainability.
This group will be looking to extend its membership with local people. Support is being offered from Groundwork NE & Cumbria and Darlington Borough Council.
The Foundation will engage the public to gather thoughts on what are the priorities for the park. This will contribute to maintaining the park’s Green Flag status and enhance key areas of the park, which could include activities and events, crowdfunding, donations, sponsorship and life events.
The group has developed a park user questionnaire and is keen for anyone who uses the park to complete it. The information gained from this questionnaire will help form the group’s priorities for the future. It is working in partnership with Darlington Borough Council, to see how it can work to add value to the park on top of the work that the Council undertakes.
Cllr Nick Wallis, Cabinet member for leisure and the environment at Darlington Borough Council, said: “The response from local residents and businesses after the vandalism last year was fantastic and it’s great that this new Foundation has been established. We look forward to working with its members, Groundwork NE & Cumbria and others to help maintain and enhance South Park for many more generations to enjoy.”
Nick Clark, Foundation member and Community Services Officer for Darlington Bondgate Round Table, said: “The South Park Foundation is an exciting development for Darlington that we as a local organisation are proud to be a part of. Green spaces are essential for everyone and this foundation promises to help maximise what is already a great park.”
If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering with Darlington South Park Foundation or would like to complete the questionnaire to help inform future activities, please go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TBXZLFB or call 01642 815663 for alternative ways to complete the questionnaire.