Parks in line for cash

Fryston Ings - a country park at the old Wheldale pit site
Fryston Ings - a country park at the old Wheldale pit site

A MULTI-MILLION pound government cash boost could help secure the future of a Castleford beauty spot.

Fryston Ings – home to the Fryston Country Trails – is one of three former coalfield sites identified in principle for long-term funding from a £4.9m dowry.

The proposal will be discussed at a meeting of Wakefield Council’s cabinet on Tuesday February 28.

Under the scheme, funding for the country park off Wheldon Road – as well as Frickley Ings at South Elmsall and Rabbit Ings in Royston – will be transferred from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to the Land Trust charity, and will go towards the future management and maintenance of each site.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic growth, said: “This money is fantastic news for these country parks. It ensures their future is secure and that they can be properly maintained for visitors to enjoy.

“We will work closely with residents and businesses, along with the Land Trust and the HCA to make the transfer as quick and smooth as possible.”

The three country parks were created from former coalfield sites as part of the National Coalfield Programme managed by the HCA.

In 2008 the council’s cabinet agreed that the three sites should be transferred to the Land Trust, a charity which manages green open spaces on behalf of local communities, to ensure the sites remained as public spaces in the long term.

Naz Parkar, head of area for the HCA said: “It is great news that we have been able to work with the council to ensure a long-term future for these fantastic community assets. The Land Trust has the expertise to ensure that these three sites will be managed for the benefit of all local residents.”

The report to the cabinet meeting will discuss the transfer as well as recommending setting up advisory panels made up of voluntary organisations and members of the community who can help contribute to the management of each site.