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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 August, 2004, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
New beginning for 'People's Park'
Saltwell Towers
The fairytale mansion has been transformed
A fairytale mansion which lay in ruins before a multi-million pound restoration is hosting a programme of summer activities.

Saltwell Towers, which lies at the heart of Saltwell Park, in Gateshead, was built in 1862.

The restoration is part of a £10m scheme to return the park to its former Victorian glory.

Activities from puppetry to live bands are being held in an effort to help bring the "People's Park" back to life.

Ornamental gardens

The mansion has been turned into the park's new visitor centre, boasting a café and an exhibition on the history of the park.

Saltwell Park was first opened to the public in 1876 and was designed to provide a haven of peace and tranquillity for the working people of Gateshead.

The towers' £3m restoration project by Gateshead Council is part of a dramatic £10m scheme, partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The events taking place in the grounds throughout August include music, dance acrobatics, theatre puppetry and story telling.

There will also be a chance for youngsters to learn circus tricks and music skills from trained professionals.

Work will continue on Saltwell Park to restore the original features of the 55 acres of landscapes, woodland and ornamental gardens.

Fairytale home through the years
14 Jul 04  |  In Pictures
Lotto cash saves endangered tower
05 Apr 04  |  Cumbria

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