Big project in Stobhill set to get under way

Isos community involvement team leader Sara Parker-Clark and Stobhill county councillor Ian Lindley view plans for the new multi-use games area.
Isos community involvement team leader Sara Parker-Clark and Stobhill county councillor Ian Lindley view plans for the new multi-use games area.

Work is due to start soon on creating a £145,000 leisure facility at a key green space in the Morpeth area.

Built on land behind the Barnabas Centre on Ninth Avenue in Stobhill, it will feature a multi-use games area, improved play park, new footpaths and landscape improvements.

The project represents a partnership between the site’s owner, social landlord Isos Housing, Northumberland County Council, local charity Barnabas Safe and Sound and other members of the Stobhill Stakeholders’ Regeneration Group.

The majority of the funding will come from the local authority, including £10,000 from Morpeth Stobhill county councillor Ian Lindley’s local improvement scheme budget.

Isos has agreed that its land can be used without charge and has pledged £57,000 to upgrade the existing play park on the site.

The development of the site has been discussed for a long time and this scheme has been pushed forward in recent years by members of the Stobhill Community Forum residents’ group.

Coun Lindley said: “We’ll be creating a great space at the heart of this strong community, so I’m delighted that we have managed to preserve the original vision for the playing field – to provide a community facility that caters for all ages.”

In 2014, a consultation exercise was carried out locally by community charity Groundwork after £13,500 in funding was secured from the Homes and Communities Agency.

The various works outlined are phase one of the project – the landscaping will feature new shrubbery.

Phase two of the scheme, which is also being considered at this stage, will include improved parking, as well as a teen shelter and outdoor gym equipment.

It is hoped the work will be completed by March of next year, at which time Isos will invite local school children to rename the play area.

Isos community involvement team leader Sara Parker-Clark said: “We’re delighted that this ambitious project is finally coming together.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work and commitment from all those involved, but this scheme will give Stobhill a fantastic new play area, as well as supporting the facilities offered at the Barnabas Centre.”