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Improvements to town park
A BISHOP Auckland recreation ground is undergoing a £60,000 refurbishment thanks to community funding.
A range of improvements are being carried out to the pavilion on Bishop Auckland recreation ground, which boasts tennis courts, a bowling green, football pitch and play equipment and a public open space.
Members of sports clubs which use the bowling and tennis facilities were consulted on what should be carried out to help improve the facility.
As a result security shutters on the pavilion doors and windows have already been installed in response to previous incidents of break-ins and vandalism.
Work to install an automatic water irrigation system for the bowling green, replace the green's gutter boards and refurbish two of the four tennis courts will be carried out before the start of the tennis and bowling seasons this year.
The improvements have been funded by Durham county councillors Sam Zair and Neil Harrison through their neighbourhood budgets. It is also supported by Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action Partnership.
Councillor Maria Plews, cabinet member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning at Durham County Council, said: "These facilities are well-used by families and sports clubs in the Bishop Auckland area.
"The bowling green in particular dates back to 1912 and has a long-standing use by local people.
"The improvements will enable people to continue to enjoy these facilities in the heart of the town."
Bishop Auckland recreation ground, which is also home to a Sunday league football team, covers 43,000 square metres and lies near the town centre between Etherley Lane and Bob Hardisty Drive.
Previous work to install new play equipment and a BMX/skate park was carried out following a feasibility study involving residents last year.
Bishop Auckland Mayor, Coun Charlie Kay, welcomed the investment.
He said: “An investment that significant in the main leisure area of the town is good for everyone.
“It is a very popular recreation area and has declined a bit over recent years due to lack of investment.
“If this gets more people out in the fresh air it is good for people’s social wellbeing, health and for spending quality time with family.”