Over the last three years a popular Runcorn Park has received more than £500k of investment, which has made running a Cheshire ski centre, less of an uphill struggle.
Infrastructure improvements at Runcorn Town Park costing £339k have made it more accessible and pleasant for the public to use, is a major boost for the area. – with more to come, including improved signage. And has got two full time park workers, thanks to Halton Borough Council.
A car park, paths and drainage have all been modernised complementing the railway themed play equipment that was installed in 2010. The next phase of works will see new paths created and address the flooding issue at Stockham Lane.
John Doyle has run Runcorn Ski Centre for about 35 years and the renovations have given his business and the miniature railway a real boost.
He said: “It’s made a massive difference to us, having such a great park. It used to be a depressing place. There were problems with crime. These days people take much more pride in the area, because it’s kept so nice.
“A few years ago there was a lot of vandalism and it had a knock on effect on local business. But now it’s like a different place.”
Visitors will have noticed some improvements, to this much-loved Runcorn open space, thanks to a Halton Borough Council ‘masterplan’ for the area which has been able to make use of funding from Viridor and WREN, with further enhancements in the pipeline.
The first of the more recent project to be completed saw improvements to the ski slope car park off Stockham Lane which received a facelift in June 2019.
In September of the same year, works started on two of the main footpaths which connect Norton Lane and Stockham Lane.
The paths, more than one km in length, have been widened to three metres and have been resurfaced in tarmac which will be suitable for all park users.
Paths have also benefited from improvements to soft landscape works along the footpath corridor, such as hedge laying and vegetation clearance, helping to improve visibility.
Existing street furniture has been refurbished and new seating has been installed at regular intervals along the footpath routes.
Halton Borough Council has also taken the opportunity to make improvements to drainage as well as enhancements to the existing brook and ditch crossings.
The more recent investment in the park from the Viridor Energy from Waste fund is £130,000 for the Ski Slope Car Park (car park construction including surfacing, drainage and walling) and £209,000 on the Southern Path Improvements (widening and resurfacing over 1km of existing footpaths in Town Park to 3m wide with street furniture improvements.
A bid is due to go in shortly to the Energy Form Waste fund for the Town Park Palace Fields Avenue Improvements (boundary, entrance and footpath improvements to enable access for park events).
Improvement works to the entrance to Town Park from Shopping City on Holt Lane is also currently being progressed as part of the wayfinding and pedestrian improvements for Halton Lea funded by the Liverpool City Region Town Centre Fund.
From July 2017 Town Park was staffed with two full time Park Workers. The park had not had its own dedicated maintenance workers since the early 1990s. The placing of the staff in Town Park was also made possible by funding from the Viridor fund