Boost for park could be in sight?

Valley Gardens in Castleford. (P512G338)
Valley Gardens in Castleford. (P512G338)
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Plans to set up a community group to help improve a town centre park have taken a step forward.

The Express backed calls from residents and councillors for people to work together to spruce up Valley Gardens in Castleford.

Five volunteers have come forward to express their interest and a date will now be set for a meeting to discuss the next steps.

Ward councillor Richard Forster, who hopes a friends group can be formed to take pride in maintaining the park, said: “The reaction so far has been very positive.

“A number of volunteers have come forward. Early ideas to improve the park include creating a children’s play area and just sprucing it up to make it a really nice peaceful place in the town centre where people can go, with their families, on their lunch break, while they’re shopping to relax and enjoy.”

Concerns were raised by Express readers about the park’s “rundown” appearance back in March.

Smawthorne mum-of-two Rachel Johnson said she avoided taking her children to the park as it had “gone downhill” and called on the community to come together to clean it up.

Coun Forster said Wakefield Council was finding it “increasingly difficult” to maintain the space and replace play equipment due to budget cuts.

He said the authority would support the founding of a friends group, which would help attract external funding.