Following the recent investment of £2 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund the park has undergone a significant amount of change and development in recent years. Last year the decision was taken to close the Leeds City Council managed golf course and integrate the land within the park.
The Council, in partnership with the Friends of Middleton Park, is now looking to consult widely with the local community on how this land can be enhanced for the benefit of all and it’s hoped that the consultation will bring forward a wide range of views and ideas.
A programme of public consultation events will be held throughout the community from Monday 30 March to 15 May with the aim of capturing the views of the community on how this site can be developed and enhanced as a space for use by all.
Alan Shaw, chair of trustees for the Friends of Middleton Park, said:
“The closure of Middleton Park Golf Course was disappointing, especially after the considerable local effort to try and save the course, but we now have an opportunity to enhance the park and make it something that the local community can all use.
“This consultation exercise provides an opportunity to hear the local community’s views and ideas and hopefully establish a plan of what can be delivered over time, building on the legacy of the Heritage Lottery Fund investment.”
The initial proposals, developed with the Friends of Middleton Park, cover four principle themes for development;
- The enhancement of green infrastructure including new paths, areas of woodland planting, new bins, benches and interpretation.
- The development of areas of natural habitat for example wetland, natural grassland and wild flower areas.
- The development of opportunities for physical activity including marked running and walking routes.
- Establishing Middleton Park and a hub for cycling including the possibility of developing a mountain biking course, a BMX course, an area for children to learn to ride a bike and a more general leisure cycling route.
Middleton park councillor Judith Blake mooted the possibility of more cycling opportunities, following last year’s successful Tour de France Grand Depart in Leeds. She said:
“Following on from the closure of the golf course many people have expressed a desire for more dedicated activities for young people in the Park, one of these ideas is to develop more cycling opportunities.
“The experience of the Tour de France last year and the imminent Tour de Yorkshire has generated a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm about this prospect.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out and about and hearing people’s views about this exciting opportunity to create something special that people of all ages can benefit from and which builds on the extended opening hours of the café to include Saturdays and Sundays.”
The visitor centre now operates as a café opening from 10.15am and 2.15pm, Monday-Friday; and 9am to 3pm on Saturdays and Sunday.
Those wishing to share their views are welcome to consider the outline design proposals plan and supporting information on the council consultation website www.leeds.gov.uk/consultations.