Work is set to start on a new visitor centre at a city beauty spot.
The new building in Park Hall Country Park signals a £370,000 project by Stoke-on-Trent City Council to improve the experience and facilities for visitors.
The centre, being built near to the park’s Hulme Road entrance, will have space for the community to use, a base for the parks team and toilets. CCTV cameras will also be installed to improve security around the building. It is expected to open to the public in spring 2019.
Local Conservative Councillors Ross Irving (Weston Coyney & Park Hall) and Craig Beardmore (Meir Hay & Park Hall) have been instrumental in securing the funding to rebuild the centre from the City Council.
“During the 2015 election I promised residents that I would fight to get the centre rebuilt, which was well used by the local community before a fire took the building away. It is great to finally see the start of the rebuilding process, after securing planning permission back in the summer for the new centre,” said Cllr Irving.
“A frequent question I get asked is when will the centre be rebuilt. I have been working on this project tirelessly with neighbouring Councillor Ross Irving, and it is great to see our hard work finally paying off. It will be a brilliant asset for the local community when the building is re-opened in the summer 2019,” said Cllr Beardmore.
The development has been welcomed by members of the community. The plans were put out to public consultation last year, receiving a positive response.
Martin Kelsel, secretary of Parkhall Community Association, said: “It is really great news that the visitor centre is about to be rebuilt. ‘When will it happen’ was one of the regular questions that would be asked at our meetings because the residents of the estate used the centre frequently. It will be great to see this part of our community back up and running again soon.”
The country park covers 360 acres and is the city’s only national nature reserve. Its major sandstone ridge is 250 million years old and is a site of special scientific interest for its geology. The ridge includes what is believed to be the highest point in Stoke-on-Trent – at 813 feet.