Completed in July 2011, the refurbishment - which was also carried out in partnership with the Friends of St James’ Park - saw many old features restored to their former glory and brand new attractions such as a community café, tennis courts and a botanical garden.
Formed in 2006 and with over 450 members, the Friends of St James’ Park were the driving force behind the restoration project. Much of the project was overseen by founder member Nichola Caveney, who has “dedicated hundreds, if not thousands of hours of her time to support the project”, said project manager Helen Saward. “She has been a great ambassador not only for the park but also for volunteering in the community” she added.
The new park also has a strong focus on conservation and green initiatives. A recycling programme has been introduced for the first time and the park makes use of natural thermal energy to heat the café building.
The Friends have recently set up a weekly Job Club to help people back into employment and education. School history lessons celebrating the parks rich and varied heritage have also taken place in the park and were well received by children and parents alike.
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