Bentley park and pavilion re-opened today after £2.9 million renovation

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Bentley Park and its Pavilion has been re-opened after more than £2 million was spent renovating it.

Doncaster council has been working with the Bentley Area Community Partnership on a dual Bentley Bonanza and official opening event, which will take place today, for the newly improved park, pavilion and facilities.

Gala visitors enjoy a fairground ride at Bentley Bonanza last year.

Gala visitors enjoy a fairground ride at Bentley Bonanza last year.

The park was officially opened at 1.45pm by Doncaster Civic Mayor, Councillor Pat Haith.

Tony Sockett, Bentley Area Community Partnership secretary, said: “It’s been a really good day. It’s been better than I expected. To see children and families really enjoying themselves has been very rewarding.”

The £2.9 million project attracted a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of almost £2.5 million.

The pavilion has benefitted from a complete overhaul that offers better access, new catering facilities, a veranda and an area for outdoor events.

The park entrances have been improved, the railings and gates renovated, footpaths upgraded and new gardens created including a water fountain.

There are new seating areas, better lighting across the park, new play areas and a new bandstand for outdoor performances.

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said: “People are very fond of their park and the new look pavilion and park will build on this enthusiasm and become a wonderful asset for Bentley and other neighbourhoods across Doncaster. The local community has really got behind this project and it has made a real difference in their area.”

The annual Bentley Bonanza usually takes place at the end of June but because of the extensive work associated with the renovation it had to be post-poned.

Visitors to the park were treated to a variety of entertainment, including performances from Doncaster Youth Jazz Association, Pedro the clown, Green Top Circus Performers and the Andy Crittenden Martial Arts Team.

There were also lots of community stalls and children’s fairground rides on offer.

Kerry Barrow, from Arksey, visited the park with her husband and two sons, Samuel, nine, and Lucas, four.

She said: “We’re having a really good day. My little boys love the park. It’s been much improved and we will come here more often now,”

Lyndsey Heptinstall, from Scawthorpe, agreed, saying her daughter Emily, four, loves the new and improved park.

“It’s lovely. It’s nice that there’s a lot of people here too, it’s a nice thing for the community.”

Doncaster Council’s Parks Team contributed to the planting works and will be responsible for managing and maintaining the park.

The park opened in 1923 and the pavilion opened eight years later in 1931. The development was primarily funded by the Bentley Miners Welfare Fund and designed to be a venue for entertainment, sport and play for Bentley residents set within attractive gardens.