A CAMPAIGN to give a community park a major upgrade has been launched.

Plans to gain funding worth up to £900,000 to spend on Pelton Fell Memorial Park, near Chester-le-Street, are now being put into place.

Proposals include replacing one of the two tennis courts with an open air performance area, creating a Ninja Warrior-style course for children, improving the play facilities, repairing the area around the war memorial and providing disabled access for people.

Organisers are hoping to gather support from people in the area with an event this weekend.

Tony Thompson, treasurer of the Pelton Fell War Memorial Trust, said: “We need more people to be involved in the park.

“We want to grow the number of people who use it and we want to expand what it offers to the community.”

The park, and the memorial, were created in 1922, to give miners in the area somewhere pleasant to spend their free time with their families.

Every year, on Armistice Day people gather every year at the Cenotaph with music provided by the NASUWT band, which are based in a building at the park.

The trust’s chairman, Tommy Storey said: “We should never forget the people who died in the wars and what it meant to the country. It is as simple as that.

“We often get people in here looking for the history of their families, but the memorial is also for recent and current conflicts, such as Afghanistan.”

The trust is hoping to get funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Durham County Council, local councillors, the War Memorial Trust and other funding sources.

People interested in helping with the project are asked to meet at the bowling club pavilion between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Saturday, April 28.

Allyson Rose, a community development officer with Durham County Council, who is also part of the Chester-le-Street and District Area Action Partnership, said: “The park is real hidden gem and anyone can get involved in this, but we have done consultation and a lot of people who live in the area do not know what is here.

“In future, we are hoping to have a performance area and are in touch with the local schools who can use it as an outdoor classroom.

“We want people to come down and use the facilities and the hope is that it is here for generations to come.”