AN £800,000 scheme to improve car parking at Preston Park is under way.


The usual overflow car parks on the northern and southern fields will be unavailable for the duration of the works but the main hard standing car park next to Butterfly World will remain open throughout.


Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Ken Dixon, said: “There may be some parking difficulties while the work is being carried out but we are doing the work now so that it can be completed ready for the peak times of year and we would appeal to people to bear with us for this short time.”


The high quality, sympathetic, resurfacing work will formalise 252 parking spaces on the southern field behind Butterfly World.  It is due to be finished by Easter, weather permitting, while drainage improvements at the northern overflow car park are expected to be complete in May.


Councillor Dixon added: “Preston Park Museum and Grounds have gone from strength to strength since its £7 million refurbishment and the park’s packed calendar of events, the recent opening of a new skatepark and the introduction of RiverShack boating activities mean that the park now attracts more than 600,000 people every year.


“We need to ensure that our residents and visitors to the Borough can access the park easily so they can take advantage of these many events and leisure opportunities so I am delighted we are going to be able to provide additional, fit-for-purpose, free parking.


“Anyone who visits the park will notice a huge difference later in the year when all the parking improvements are complete.”