Park protected by charitable status

Sough Park, Sough
Sough Park, Sough

A Pendle park has been given special status after historical links to a charitable foundation were officially recognised.

Sough Park in Earby has been confirmed as a lost Carnegie Field to the delight of councillors and members of the town’s history society.

Sough Park, Sough

Sough Park, Sough

A nationwide campaign has been set up by the Carnegie Trust UK asking the public to identify over 900 “lost” playing fields originally protected as public green spaces by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie’s charitable trust 90 years ago.

The sites were “lost” because their exact locations were never centrally recorded, but under the original terms of the Carnegie grants it was in fact intended that they would remain protected from development. Pendle Council was contacted late last year identifying Sough Park as a lost Carnegie Field and Earby Town Council has previously submitted evidence to Fields in Trust to protect it.

Paperwork has now been signed for a deed of dedication through the Fields in Trust initiative which ensures that the park is protected as a public recreational space in perpetuity.

Chairman of Earby Town Council Coun. Chris Tennant said: “It is great news. If all goes as planned then Pendle will be able to bid to a couple of funds or Trusts for between £5,000 and £10,000 for external funding for outdoor equipment, for example, a new slide which has been requested for the park.”

Sough Park, Sough

Sough Park, Sough

During the period 1927 to 1935, the Carnegie UK Trust donated £200,000 (over £10m. in today’s money) to create, protect and improve playing fields across the UK.

Sough Park, through Earby Urban District Council, received some of this grant funding in the 1930s towards the improvement of the existing play area thus becoming a Carnegie Field.

Bob Abel, of Earby and Local District History Society, said: “Several years ago I did a bit of research on the park, long before the War Memorial received Grade II listed status.

“That information was used for the listed status but during that research I also came across evidence that the Carnegie Foundation had provided funding to go towards putting play equipment in to the park.

“I think it is fantastic that it has now been properly recognised. There are facilities for all generations from the play area for toddlers right through to the bowling green for the older population as well the skateboard park, football pitches and of course the war memorial itself.”