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New group to develop Chilton rec
WORK is about to start on the refurbishment of a park pavilion in the latest move aimed at breathing new life into the venue.
The meeting room at Chilton Miners Welfare Recreation Ground, in Chilton, will undergo a £19,000 renovation next month.
A £15,500 grant from Premier Waste Management, topped up with funds from Durham County Councillor Christine Potts’ neighbourhood budget of last year, will pay for the work.
It will include disabled toilets put in place of existing facilities, bricked up windows reinstalled and interior improvements.
The scheme is part of a project to revitalise the 1924 park and attract more users.
In May, Chilton Town Council and tennis player David Newell issued a rallying call to form a Friends of the Park group.
Almost 20 volunteers came forward to establish a group to drive forward developments and identify and tackle the issues that deter visitors.
It is chaired by Coun Potts, with Chilton Town Councillor Brian Turner as deputy chairman and Mr Newell as secretary.
The council and Friends group are awaiting the outcome of a funding application to pay for exterior paintwork and timbers.
They may also seek money to install central heating in the pavilion to make it usable all year.
Town clerk Paul Gray said: “The idea is to enhance what facilities are there now so the community makes good use of the park.”
The park already has floodlit tennis courts but a new tennis club could be formed to make better use of them and there are hopes that a bowling club will bring the green back into use.
Coun Potts said: “It is an absolute gem of a facility, the grounds are well kept and there is a nice infants’ play area and the skatepark is nearby.
“The state of the pavilion, which is desperate for work to improve it, is a barrier to its better use and we really hope to improve it and get new groups in there.
"I'm also talking to the highways department about road safety as there are busy roads to cross the reach the rec and we're looking at improving signage because some people don't event know it is there.
“We want to cater for all ages and make the best possible use of this lovely facility, which is there for all of Chilton.”
Anyone interested in joining the friends group can contact Coun Potts on 03000-268761.
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