A NEW 'pocket park' on one of Tynedale's main shopping streets looks set to be open in time for the end of lockdown after a funding boost from one of the district's biggest employers.

Prudhoe Community Partnership and the town's traders unveiled plans for the scheme last year.

Financial contributions came in from the partnership, the Prudhoe Traders Committee, Prudhoe Town Council, and Northumberland County Council, while landowners the Co-op agreed a five year lease at a peppercorn rent.

In addition, Thompsons of Prudhoe is preparing the site and carrying out the groundworks free of charge.

However, there was still a £5,000 funding shortfall that needed to be covered before work could start on the park.

With a short planting period for the 12 mature multi stem amelanchier lamarchii trees in the plan, funds were desperately needed before Easter.

“Time was running out and, with the current Covid-19 crisis, finding additional funding was proving difficult,” said Prudhoe Community Partnership chair George Hepburn.

“I asked Essity if they might be able to make some kind of donation, and was frankly overwhelmed when they offered to make a £5,000 contribution.

"It was an incredibly generous offer and meant we were able to start ordering and get the whole thing back on schedule."

Essity Prudhoe Mill site manager Tony Richards said: “The last year has been difficult for everyone, and most experts agree that spending time out of doors in a green and leafy environment brings enormous benefits – even if it’s just a ten-minute socially-distanced chat with friends while shopping.

“A pocket park providing a bit of much-needed green space in the centre of the town dovetails with Essity’s global ambition of enabling more people to enjoy a fuller life."