Northumberland Park

North Shields, UK

Northumberland Park

The sensitive multi-million-pound restoration of Northumberland Park, a 130-year-old Victorian park located in the heart of North Shields. Gillespies delivered both the landscape and architectural design which ensured a sensitive and coordinated design for this Heritage Lottery Funded project.

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The 12‑hectare park re‑opened to the public in April 2015 following a multi‑million-pound revamp funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG).

Northumberland Park — located in North Shields — was originally opened in 1885 by the Duke of Northumberland who donated the land to provide a public pleasure ground for the community. The park had lost many historic features over the years, a revamp project, led by North Tyneside Council, has restored the park to its former glory.

Improvements have included a new community pavilion and the reinstatement of a Victorian‑style bandstand, ponds and a children's play area, alongside restoring a number of lost original features including historic planting schemes, fountains, formal gardens and a rustic bridge. The introduction of improved footpaths, main entrances and interpretive signage was seen as integral to widening the use of the park.

The completed project instils a sense of pride and a renewed passion for the park amongst local residents and the wider community, offering locals and visitors improved access, with new opportunities to enjoy the site's natural beauty and historic heritage.

Key to providing a strong design was interpreting historic information for original features through research and discussions with the Friends Group, and providing sensitive design solutions when information was incomplete or when new features were proposed.

Gillespies were involved from the start of the National Lottery bid process through to completion, and the restoration should ensure that this Victorian pleasure ground has a future into the 21st Century.