A DARWEN beauty spot will finally be restored to its former glory after money was handed over by the town council.

The paddling pool in Sunnyhurst Wood has been blighted by silt for years, but the council’s new parks committee – responsible for a £25,000 kitty available for parks groups to bid for – has given the Friends of Sunnyhurst Wood £6,000 to have it removed.

The committee also gave £5,000 to the Friends of Bold Venture Park to clear drains and repair damaged footpaths.

Sunnyhurst councillor Dave Smith said the parks were essential to Darwen.

He said: “They have been badly affected by Government cuts to council budgets.

“They are the jewels in Darwen’s crown and we want to see them improved. It is great that the friends groups have put forward these bids.

“It is really positive. We want to keep the parks up to a certain standard.

“Now we need the groups to be working up projects for next year.”

Friends of Sunnyhurst chairman Dennis Gillibrand said work would begin in late autumn.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted the town council has funded the clearance of the pond.

“We will finally be moving forward and the users of the wood will be delighted as well.

“Work will have to wait until after the leaves have fallen in late autumn, otherwise we would be back to square one.”

Chairman of the Friends of Bold Venture Park Harry Duxbury said he was very grateful for the cash.

He said: “It is a great help. The paths and drains are a constant problem with all the heavy rain.

“I will be getting in touch with the contractor to see what he can do for us.”

Earlier this year, the committee gave the Friends of Whitehall Park £4,800 to install some new gates.