This project was to construct a new urban park in 2.83 ha of brown field land, Grove Hill Middlesbrough.
The development of the park was funded by the Grove Hill Joint Venture, an innovative partnership between Middlesbrough Council and Erimus Housing with additional funding from the Environment Agency. This was seen as a flagship project by all. Alongside landscaping work to create the park, a major element of the project focused on enhancements to the stretch of Marton West Beck that runs through it. The beck - previously hidden within a deep concrete channel - has been naturalised, opening it up as a feature which people can enjoy and which enhances the surrounding area. The new park is central to the wider regeneration of the Grove Hill area, which is being totally revamped to make way for new housing, alongside a host of public realm and environmental improvements.
Also included in the scheme was the construction of new footways and cycleways (over 2970m2 in total) and the resurfacing of same throughout the park. Two access roads between The Vale and Sycamore Road and The Vale and Beechgrove Road were to be closed off and a turning head to be provided on both Sycamore Road and Beechgrove Road totalling nearly 800m2.
The scheme included remodelling the site to provide mounds and pond areas over 2000m2. The whole park grassed area 21,080m2 was top soiled, a seed bed prepared and fertilised then seeded. Other works included in this scheme was lighting column upgrading, signing & lining, drainage & street furniture.
Local schoolchildren also put a lasting mark on the new community open space which has become the new heart of Grove Hill, when the winner of a naming competition unveiled the park name at the opening event. The park was named, James Cook Gardens by three-year-old Azaan Rashid from Linthorpe.
A bulb planting day is planned for the winner's school, encouraging local children and their families to get involved in the park from the outset, and guaranteeing a blaze of colour come springtime.
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, said: "We have stated from the outset that we're determined that the regeneration of Grove Hill would stand the area in good stead for the future.
"The new Neighbourhood Park is just the latest evidence that the project is on track, and it is already an attractive leisure space for the whole community to enjoy.
"I'm pleased that local schoolchildren will continue to play an important role in the development the, and alongside new homes and other improvements it will help to ensure a bright future for Grove Hill and the surrounding area."
Brian Dinsdale, Chair of the Erimus Housing Board, said: "We are thrilled to be able to launch this latest development, which marks the next step in our continued commitment to regenerating Grove Hill and improving the quality of life for people in the community.
"We hope people will not only enjoy but will also take pride in this new facility that has been specially created with input from the local community."
Deirdre Murphy, Environment Agency Project Manager, said: "This scheme is a great example of partnership working which brings many benefits to the area.
"The river restoration is acting as a catalyst to support wider regeneration and socio-economic benefits. Marton West Beck is now a focus of the green space which can be enjoyed by the wider community."
Jon Hargreaves, Chair of the Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, said: "This project is great for the local community combining new housing and environment benefits. Including local children is vital for them to learn about the importance of the environment, whilst shaping their local area."