Sheffield park 'to rival the city's best' following transformation

MP Nick Clegg in Bingham Park with councillors and members of the friends group
MP Nick Clegg in Bingham Park with councillors and members of the friends group
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A Sheffield park which has suffered from years of underinvestment could rival the best in the city once a long-awaited revamp has been completed.

That was the claim as efforts to transform Bingham Park, in Nether Green, moved another step closer.

Plans are being drawn up to restore the park's dilapidated tennis courts after the public voted on the changes they wanted to see made.

Two of the eight tennis courts are set to be preserved for for the sport, with a £30,000 bid for LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) funding being put together to pay for the new-look courts.

A multi-use games area, open space for cycling and rollerblading, and a skateboarding zone are planned for the rest of the tarmacked area.

The Friends of Bingham Park, which is leading the drive to improve facilities there, said around 150 people had their say on the park's future by completing questionnaires.

Kate Robinson, the group's secretary, said: "The overwhelming feedback we've had from the local community is that they want to keep as much of the flat tarmacked surfaces as there is at present.

"That's what we want to do but it may be a bit of a compromise, depending on how much money we have available.

"We need to see how many of the supporting walls can be retained so we know how much of that space can be kept.

"The council has been very supportive but it can't make money appear out of nowhere. The next step is to begin fundraising."

Ms Robinson added that work could begin this summer on the new tennis courts, subject to funding being secured from the LTA, but there may be a longer wait for other improvements.

Sheffield Council has already pledged £70,000 contributed by developers to improve the park, but more money is being sought with one previous estimate putting the sum needed as high as £250,000.

Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of Sheffield Liberal Democrats and Ecclesall ward councillor, said: "It's a lovely little park that obviously hasn't had the investment over the years.

"We see this as a priority area for work and will be supporting the local community both financially through the small pot we have available as ward councillors and to get additional funding from outside bodies.

"Hopefully it can start to rival Millhouses Park, which has benefited from a strong friends group and is one of the best in the city."