New-look Amen Corner completes triple boost for Barnard Castle town centre (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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New-look Amen Corner completes triple boost for Barnard Castle town centre
A £100,000 scheme to transform part of a market town centre has been completed.
Improvements have been carried out to an area outside historic St Mary's Church, Barnard Castle, known as Amen Corner.
The work was designed to create a better and more open setting for the 900-year-old church which, unlike many others, remains open to visitors every day.
Alterations have been made to the car park and entrance to the church, there is better seating and improvements have been made to paving and walls.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester - later Richard III - was a benefactor of the church during his time as lord of Barnard Castle from 1477 to 1485 and this is being recognised in changes to the layout of flowerbeds.
Canon Alec Harding, vicar of St Mary's, said he was delighted with the finished scheme.
“It set out to open up the front of the church and I am very pleased that this has been done.”
He added: “People can now see the church from the town and from what people have told me, they are also pleased with it.”
Canon Harding said new floodlighting, which draws attention to the church tower, had also enhanced the appearance of St Mary's.
“It has been a major project and not an easy one, given the constraints of the site, but I am glad to see it finished and looking so good.”
The project was led by the church and Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership with backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Durham County Council and Barnard Castle Vision.
It is the third major landscape project to be completed in Barnard Castle this year.
A £400,000 scheme led by the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership saw changes to the Scar Top area which included a new mini-golf course, children's play area and performance area.
Elsewhere, improvements have been made to the Garden of Remembrance, in Galgate, with better seating, paving and flower beds.
Councillor Frank Harrison, Barnard Castle mayor, said taken together, the projects had made a noticeable improvement to the town.
“Amen Corner looks good and together with the work at Scar Top and the Memorial Garden – where we have just planted 600 miniature daffodil and other bulbs – it is good for the town and will hopefully help boost tourism,” he said.
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