THE owner of Runcorn Ski Centre has praised the £500,000 investment at a Runcorn park.

Halton Council has employed two full time workers at Runcorn Town Park as well as laid a new car park, paths and drainage.

The next phase of works will see new paths created and address the flooding issue at Stockham Lane.

John Doyle has run Runcorn Ski Centre for about 35 years and the renovations have given his business and the miniature railway a real boost.

He said: "It's made a massive difference to us, having such a great park. It used to be a depressing place. There were problems with crime.

"These days people take much more pride in the area, because it's kept so nice.

"A few years ago there was a lot of vandalism and it had a knock on effect on local business. But now it's like a different place."

Visitors will have noticed some improvements, to this much-loved Runcorn open space, thanks to a Halton Borough Council 'masterplan' for the area which has been able to make use of funding from Viridor and WREN, with further enhancements in the pipeline.

The first of the more recent projecta to be completed saw improvements to the ski slope car park off Stockham Lane.

In September last year, works started on two of the main footpaths which connect Norton Lane and Stockham Lane.

The paths, more than one km in length, have been widened to three metres and have been resurfaced in tarmac which will be suitable for all park users.

Paths have also benefited from improvements to soft landscape works along the footpath corridor, such as hedge laying and vegetation clearance, helping to improve visibility.

Existing street furniture has been refurbished and new seating has been installed at regular intervals along the footpath routes.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Halton Borough Council has also taken the opportunity to make improvements to drainage as well as enhancements to the existing brook and ditch crossings.

The more recent investment in the park from the Viridor Energy from Waste fund is £130,000 for the Ski Slope Car Park (car park construction including surfacing, drainage and walling) and £209,000 on the Southern Path Improvements (widening and resurfacing over 1km of existing footpaths in Town Park to 3m wide with street furniture improvements.

A bid is due to go in shortly to the Energy Form Waste fund for the Town Park Palace Fields Avenue Improvements (boundary, entrance and footpath improvements to enable access for park events).

Improvement works to the entrance to Town Park from Shopping City on Holt Lane is also currently being progressed as part of the wayfinding and pedestrian improvements for Halton Lea funded by the Liverpool City Region Town Centre Fund.

From July 2017 Town Park was staffed with two full time Park Workers. The park had not had its own dedicated maintenance workers since the early 1990s.