WORK is under way on a £30,000 upgrade to the ‘showground’ area of Blackburn’s main park.

The renovation follows growing concerns about the boggy nature of the ground used for celebrations, events and fairs at Witton Country Park.

The improvements include 7,000 metres of land drainage to remove all wet areas in the main grassed areas of the 480 park.

In addition it will create a new permanent hard core bonfire site and a hard base for the annual Easter Fair.

The work, for which Blackburn with Darwen Council has allocated a budget of around £30,000, will see new access path alongside the rive to enable access to event vehicles and extend the cycle track.

The final part of the scheme is a major cut and full-levelling operation to provide a flat showground for events.

It follows the building of a new £2.3million Witton Park Arena and upgrade to the associated athletics tracks.

Cllr Damian Talbot, borough leisure boss, said: “We decided we needed to upgrade the main showground area at Witton Park.

“After many years of managing events with the field in a poor state we are investing around £30,000 to improve the situation for generations to come and end the boggy conditions that sometimes have become a ‘mudbath’.

“It is at the far end of the main grassed area near the arena and will provide a proper base for the annual and very popular bonfire.

“It will also provide a solid surface for the airs and other events we hold there which often have heavy vehicles involved.

“We need to have a look at what was needed after the completion of the area in 2014 and make sure we were doing the right things and co-ordinate the work with a major drainage upgraded.”

Cllr John Slater, borough Tory group leader, said: “This work is welcome but long-overdue.”

The works should be completed soon ready for the summer season.