Lambton Cokeworks transformed into park

Lambton Cokeworks
Image caption Lambton Cokeworks closed in 1984

The results of a project to transform contaminated industrial land into a country park are being unveiled.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) invested £25m in Elba Park, on the former Lambton Colliery and Cokeworks site, near Sunderland.

The scheme has taken seven years and involved moving more than two million cubic metres of soil, planting trees and creating footpaths.

It includes a memorial to the miners who worked at the colliery.

The park is being opened by former Sunderland, Newcastle and England footballer Paul Bracewell.

Miners remembered

HCA North East director Pat Ritchie said: "We have worked side by side with local people for the past seven years to reclaim this site and make it safe for the community.

"Today is a chance to honour Lambton's proud industrial heritage and to celebrate a new future for the site, providing green space and family homes for a new generation."

Artist Colin Wilbourn worked with the Lambton Memorial Group to remember the miners who worked at the colliery, where 127 pitmen died over its 364-year history.

More than 300 houses are also being built on the reclaimed land.

The reclamation project has been supported by the HCA, Sunderland City Council, the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Land Trust, Lambton Memorial Group and Groundwork North East.

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