Converted park lodge proves picture-perfect place for Elswick family

A couple from Elswick are living the good life in an old park keeper’s lodge following renovation works by Leazes Photograph of Elswick park lodge and tenant Homes.

South Lodge has been an important building within the popular park since its creation in the 19th century, providing a beautiful welcome to anyone entering the park from Westmoreland Road. Now it has been lovingly restored to provide spacious living space for the Burtons, with Elswick Park acting as an extended back garden. Kenneth and Christine Burton, who are long-time residents of Elswick, had previously lived in a three bedroomed home nearby, which was bigger than they needed after their children had left home. They were finding this home difficult to live in due to struggling with the stairs, but were keen to continue living in an area they loved. The couple are now very happy to call South Lodge home, with Mr Burton saying: “We’re far happier in our new property and our health has definitely improved with everything being on one level. We have lots of outside space of our own but the park is like an extra back garden and it’s great for our grandkids – they’ve already made bird boxes to help feed the wildlife outside. “The lodge is like a chocolate box image and it’s lovely having somewhere so peaceful to walk immediately outside of our home. At the same time, us moving here has freed up a three bed property elsewhere in the city – so it really is win, win.” Leazes Homes converted South Lodge, which had stood empty for some time and fallen into disrepair, as part of its commitment to bring empty properties back into use.  The project was funded by the Homes and Communities Agency’s empty homes fund and a grant from Newcastle City Council. Chair of Leazes Homes, Bill Midgley, said: “South Lodge is a really beautiful building with an equally attractive back drop in the form of Elswick Park. It was such a shame to see the property fall into disrepair so we’re very pleased to have been able to bring it back into use as a family home and to see the Burtons and their extended family enjoying it so much. “Leazes Homes has brought many properties back into use over recent years and this is an important part of our work. The Elswick Park lodge has been followed by the renovation of another in Elswick Cemetery and we have previously brought the lodge in Nunsmoor Park back into use. We also recently unveiled our conversion of two Georgian properties on Westgate Road into the modern and well-appointed Summerhill Apartments, providing even more desirable housing in this popular part of the city.” Elswick park lodge and tenants   Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “It is a particular pleasure, as a local ward councillor, to see this historic building brought back into use as a family home. This is the second time in the past few months that Leazes Homes has rescued a significant building in the area I represent, and it’s great to see new life being breathed in to places that could so easily have become crumbling ruins. “I’d like to wish the Burton’s a long and happy future in their new home.” The Elswick Cemetery Lodge is due for completion in December 2015. This will be promoted through Tyne and Wear Homes, the region’s choice-based lettings portal, and anyone wishing to apply to live there will need to do so online via the portal. All queries regarding this should be directed to Paula Leckey, Housing Options Manager on 0191 277 1480 or via