Newstead regeneration project to appear on tv this Sunday

.Members  and organisors of  Village    S O S look forward to their TV appearance this week  Pic shows Julia Thistleton-Smith right  with members  at the site of the new Nature reserve
.Members and organisors of Village S O S look forward to their TV appearance this week Pic shows Julia Thistleton-Smith right with members at the site of the new Nature reserve

A DOCUMENTARY which chronicles a major regeneration project in Newstead will hit TV screens on Sunday.

The village is at the centre of a BBC programme called Village SOS, hosted by Sarah Beeny, which aims to regenerate rural areas throughout the UK.

Last year, Newstead Enterprise - which is overseeing the scheme - was awarded £433,140 from the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with the BBC to create a country park on the former colliery site.

The ambitious project has seen the creation of Newstead and Annesley Country Park, which now boasts an eco-friendly ‘earthship’ visitor centre with walls created from 1,500 donated vehicle tyres.

It will eventually be home to angling lakes as well.

Julia Thistleton-Smith, from Newstead Enterprise, said: “When you get filmed for a year, there will be bits you absolutely hate - but by and large it’s fair and it’s a good representation of our year.

“They have done us proud and I feel very honoured to be a part of it.”

It is hoped that the country park will attract around 100,000 visitors a year by the time it reaches its fifth birthday.

Julia, whose husband Anthony Thistleton-Smith, is an award-winning architect behind the design of the visitor centre, says the community has been involved in the project from the beginning.

“You don’t create a country park in a year and we have done an incredible amount over the year,” she says.

“We have had 500 volunteers, got accredited training for 40 hard-to-reach young people and that’s the thing I feel most proud about.”

The park will also be home to the CAST Project which provides valuable training opportunities for young people.

Julia also praised the hard work of Newstead residents who she said ‘long track record’ of working together.

She said: “People are working literally from first thing in the morning till 11 or 12 at night, fitting it in around their jobs and holidays.”

Another project set to boost the area and build on the skills of the community is the Headstocks Festival which takes place from 9th-11th September.

Last year’s event was a runner up in UK Festival Awards in the Best New Festival category.

To view a clip of the show, visit www.bbc.co.uk and search for Village SOS.