Sherwood MP Mark Spencer backs Newstead and Annesley Country Park project

NMAC11-1851-2''Sherwood M.P. Mark Spencer pictured at the new Annesley and Newstead Country Park Visitors Centre, during his visit on Monday.'Also pictured from the left are; David Goodall, Cast Project Officer, Penny Altham, Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire, Anthony Thistleton-Smith and Mick McGHrath, from the Big Lottery Fund

NMAC11-1851-2''Sherwood M.P. Mark Spencer pictured at the new Annesley and Newstead Country Park Visitors Centre, during his visit on Monday.'Also pictured from the left are; David Goodall, Cast Project Officer, Penny Altham, Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire, Anthony Thistleton-Smith and Mick McGHrath, from the Big Lottery Fund

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SHERWOOD MP Mark Spencer paid a visit to Newstead and Annesley Country Park on Monday to find out how work on the scheme was going.

Mr Spencer, whose constituency includes Newstead, described the on-going project as ‘fantastic’ and said that he was looking forward to it being open to the public.

He said: “It will be a fantastic facility for people to go and enjoy the countryside, to get out and stretch their legs and get some fresh air.”

Plans to create a country park on a former colliery spoil tip between Newstead and Annesley are now well underway.

Newstead Enterprise is overseeing the £430,000 project and the site already boasts wild birds, flowers and butterflies, while the eco-build visitor centre is set to attract both tourists and school parties.

Officials behind the project are also working with the CAST project which uses angling as a way to engage with disadvantaged young people by giving them access to angling lakes. A day ticket scheme will also be run to generate income.

In addition, the annual Headstock music and arts festival will take place on 9th until 11th September and the headline act will be Echo and the Bunnymen.

Meanwhile, Mr Spencer praised the Newstead community for creating something that would be an asset to the village.

He said: “They are a shining example of what can be achieved with community cohesion. When it is completed, I am sure the whole village will feel a lot of ownership of the project.

Newstead Enterprise received a grant of more than £430,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for a regeneration project to breathe new life into the area through the creation of an eco-friendly resource centre, fishing lakes and the music festival.

The funding was awarded through the Village SOS initiative, which is a joint project run by the Big Lottery and BBC, to help regenerate villages.

The BBC has been filming the story of six villages, including Newstead, for a BBC One show due to be broadcast this summer and presented by Sarah Beeney.

For more details on the upcoming Headstocks Festival or to buy tickets visit www.wegottickets.com/f/2368.