Residents can get their running shoes on once again, as renovation works return disused running track to its former glory.
The track at Springfield Park on Bolton Road, Rochdale, originally built in the 1960s, has received a complete resurface and is now available for use by casual runners and walkers.
In its early days the track was used for a number of events including school sports days and Rochdale Harriers meetings. Rochdale AFC also used it in their pre-season training prior to their promotion in 1968.
However, the track had recently become rundown and was closed for safety reasons.
'Having access to good sporting facilities is really important'
In 2016 the Friends of Springfield Park group secured a section 106 funding grant to refurbish the track so it could be used again safely.
The refurbishment involved scraping off the original surface, ripping out a number of trees and bushes, filling in the old Steeplechase water jump and 350 tons of Redgra resurfacing.
Councillor Daalat Ali, the council's cabinet member for planning and development, said: "I am extremely pleased that we have been able to renovate the running track and improve the local area for our residents. Having access to good sporting facilities is really important for the development of our young people, who are our future athletes; it can also have great health benefits for everyone. I hope the new running track will be enjoyed by generations to come."
'Residents can use it to stay fit and healthy'
It is hoped that the refurbishment will attract schools, running groups and residents to use the track for training and casual jogging, as well as enabling more local people to take up physical activity. Increased use of the track will in turn continue to improve the tracks surface.
Ian Birchenough, the Friends of Springfield Park chairman, said: "We are extremely grateful for the invaluable support we have received to get the track up and running again, so residents can use it to stay fit and healthy. This major renovation is part of £250,000 of ongoing work to improve the park and its environment for local people. Further improvements are currently being undertaken around the pond and the flower beds at the back of the grass tennis courts."