Plans to breathe £250,000-worth of new life into unique Middlesbrough landmark Teessaurus Park have been given the thumbs up by mayor Andy Preston and senior councillors – with businesses asked to support the scheme.
Home to giant steel dinosaurs on a prime riverside site, Teessaurus Park has long been a popular attraction for children and families.
Now the park, which is already backed by local firms AV Dawson and Cleveland Cable Company, is set to attract new fans from far and wide thanks to the £250,000 cash injection.
Proposed upgrades include:
• A café unit with toilets, customer seating and a serving hatch for take away refreshments. It is proposed that the operation of the café is outsourced and managed by an independent business.
• Enhanced lighting throughout the park to be installed on columns and located to illuminate paths and the dinosaur sculptures.
• Improved footpaths throughout the park to improve accessibility.
• A children’s zip wire and embankment slide.
• Accessible children’s play equipment for children with disabilities.
• Installation of three CCTV cameras mounted to columns.
• Motion sensors and sound system installed on columns close to dinosaur sculptures to make dinosaur sounds when visitors pass them.
• Points of interest around the park including installation of large outdoor fixed dinosaur-themed jigsaw puzzles and large dinosaur footprints.
• Improved signage to direct visitors to the park from the A66.
• Improved new signage around the park including educational signage providing information on each dinosaur.
A report on the revamp was discussed at a meeting of Middlesbrough Council’s executive, winning unanimous backing and making way for the improvements to be in place by this summer.
Councillors also agreed to endeavour to complete the upgrades without the need for borrowing, and to seek sponsorship from local businesses to follow in the footsteps of AV Dawson and Cleveland Cable.
Mayor Andy Preston said: “Lots of people love this park and really enjoy it, and this work is going to turbocharge it and turn it into a real attraction for all ages.”
Councillor Mieka Smiles, executive member for communities and education, added: “I’m really excited about these proposals, and they’ve already had an amazing reaction from the public.
“As a mum myself, I’m always looking for new places to visit, and the fact that it’s free is great.
“Special mention has to go to Community Champions Middlesbrough who have dedicated so much time to the park and helped to create a renewed buzz about something that’s a bit of a hidden Middlesbrough gem.”
Councillor Dennis McCabe, executive member for environment, said: “People from as far afield as Newcastle and York have seen Teessaurus Park on Facebook and brought their kids to see it.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to bring more people into Middlesbrough and show off our skills, history and heritage right where the Ironmasters played their part in the Industrial Revolution.”