A TYNE VALLEY pocket park is now officially open.

The Grove Pocket Park, in Prudhoe, was opened by Paul Mooney - the weather team leader for the BBC in the North-East and Cumbria - last Friday.

The event was an opportunity to thank the shopkeepers, local businesses, funders and volunteers who have all contributed to its construction.

The Front Street green space is the result of the community collectively working together with support from Essity, Northumberland County Council, Prudhoe Community Partnership and Prudhoe Town Council totalling £30,000. Thompsons of Prudhoe levelled the site and provided the top soil and pea gravel. CSN Services installed the lighting at their own expense, while individual trees have been sponsored by shop keepers as part of their preparations for reopening after lockdown .

Paul Mooney said: “I emigrated to Prudhoe 24 years ago so I’ve seen quite a few changes in the town ; some positive and some not so positive and this definitely ranks as one of the really positive ones. We are lucky in Prudhoe to have a traditional town centre in Front Street and it is great that we can continue to improve it and keep its traditional character at the same time.”

The site had been used as an unofficial car park for many years and is owned by the Co-op. It has now been generously leased at a peppercorn rent for five years to Prudhoe Community Project. The initiative to redevelop the site came from local shopkeepers as part of their campaign to create a more attractive shopping environment.

The scheme was developed with Prudhoe Community Partnership and designed by partnership trustee and landscape gardener Richard Shrimpton.

Paul Murray, chair of the Prudhoe Traders Committee, said: “The Pocket Park is evidence of how small towns will evolve over the coming years with a mix of retail, residential and leisure. Having green spaces within towns will become an important part of this evolution. I was overwhelmed with the amount of support we received in the development of the Pocket Park and would like to thank everyone involved.”

Caroline Warburton, chair of the Prudhoe Community Partnership, added: “Thanks especially to the team of local volunteers led by Paul and Richard who laboured so hard to build The Grove. It is going to be a lovely place to stop a while and catch up with family and friends.”