Construction work kick-off for scheme

From left, Coun Ian Lindley, Leanne Beattie from Active Northumberland, Hayley Brown and Mary Ormston from Isos Housing.
From left, Coun Ian Lindley, Leanne Beattie from Active Northumberland, Hayley Brown and Mary Ormston from Isos Housing.
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Work has kicked-off on a major new facility for the community of Stobhill in Morpeth.

Ward county councillor Ian Lindley helped to get the construction under way, along with representatives of other partners in the project.

The first phase of the £165,000 scheme on land behind the Barnabas Centre on Ninth Avenue will see a multi-use games area built.

It will be run as a community resource for recreational sport and play. Young people will be able to play a range of sports, including basketball and football, in the purpose-built environment.

This area will also be bookable for club and organised activities.

Development of the site was first proposed eight years ago as part of a detailed regeneration project for Stobhill commissioned by Coun Lindley, from which the Stobhill Stakeholders’ Regeneration Group was formed.

He said: “This first phase of a multi-use leisure project is a great milestone in the development of this scheme, which I have been championing for a number of years.

“I’m delighted to see work getting under way and look forward to seeing the area complete and operational.

“This is just the first of a number of features planned for the site and in the next four months work will take place to transform this valuable green space into a much-needed community asset for our residents to enjoy.”

The overall Stobhill Field project is a partnership between Northumberland County Council, site owner Isos Housing, local charity Barnabas Safe and Sound, Active Northumberland, Morpeth Town Council and other members of the Stobhill Stakeholders’ Regeneration Group.

Most of the funding will come from the county council, including £10,000 from the local improvement scheme budget of Coun Lindley.

Isos has agreed for its land to be used without charge and has pledged £57,000 to the second phase of the scheme – the installation of a new play area.

In the New Year, a footpath will be created to form a circular route around the field and giving better access to the new play area. Landscaping will provide shrubs and small trees around the site, which will be finished off with seats and picnic benches.

Isos community investment manager Richard Mitchell said: “This scheme will not only regenerate the area, but also provide the entire community with a fantastic range of leisure facilities for all ages.”

Later in the spring, a range of fun play equipment will be installed for children of various ages.

Hayley Brown, manager at Barnabas Safe and Sound, said: “The young people on the estate are really excited to see this games area project getting under way.”