Nature park plans for Dearne given cash boost

PLANS to turn a litter-plagued Dearne Valley site into a nature park have been boosted by a £40,000 windfall.

The Goldthorpe Railway Environmental Improvement Project will benefit from the five-figure sum from Barnsley Council after the authority earmarked  money, secured from the development of the Goldthorpe Colliery Site to the revival scheme.

Architecture students from University of Sheffield have been working with charities and community groups to canvass opinion on how to develop the former railway cutting on the edge of the town centre into a community asset.

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The new funding from Barnsley Council — which noted the old railway line’s connection to the area’s mining past — will help to transform the site into an open community space with a community garden, historical interactive timeline and children’s play equipment.

Cllr Roy Miller, the council’s Cabinet spokesperson for place, said: “This is great news for the residents of Goldthorpe.

“The funding will help go towards the regeneration of the area and has been something the local residents and community groups have been working hard to achieve over the last few years.

“The project will help strengthen visitor economy and protect the borough for future generations by creating a greener sustainable environment, contributing towards a stronger community and increasing external funding into the Dearne.”

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The project, set to be delivered in stages, aims to move on past work in tackling fly-tipping and littering at the site.

The new funding has been allocated under a so-called Section 106 agreement, which involves developers of larger sites paying a sum to the council to counteract the environmental impact of their development.

Goldthorpe and Bolton on Dearne Big Local commissioned and funded the students “live project” and was involved in a series of consultation events during the autumn.