CALLS for a new visitors' centre at a Halesowen beauty spot are being backed by the town's MP.

James Morris MP has been working with the Friends of The Leasowes over the past year, jointly urging Dudley Council to explore the case for a new visitors centre with a cafe and toilets, within the park.

James said the previous visitor centre is no longer fit for purpose and he is urging Dudley Council to help bring about the plans that Friends group has commissioned.

The council is currently carrying out a feasibility study into the project and James said he is determined to keep up the pressure to ensure the park gets the facilities it is worthy of.

James said: “Leasowes Park is one of the gems of our town, and many people travel quite a distance to visit.

"It is steeped in history and was of course visited in the 18th century by two future US Presidents – Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

"The park is a great place to relax and enjoy the local wildlife and scenery, so I am keen to see new facilities so that we can attract even more people to come and visit.

“With investment on new projects taking place across the Dudley borough, I am fighting for Leasowes park to secure what it needs and will keep working closely with both the council and the Friends of the Leasowes to try and bring it to fruition.”

David Chaffey, Chair of Friends of the Leasowes, said: “Maintaining physical and mental health has never been more important, and to have access to The Leasowes, a green space and haven for wildlife of recognised National importance, is a golden opportunity for the people of Halesowen and surrounding urban areas.

“Working with other local groups, we have developed a vision for the future, and are pleased to be working with James Morris and the council to remove the current derelict building and provide new facilities.

"We believe a café with toilets, a community space, a new children’s play area and improved presentation, will yield significant social and economic benefits for the community, including many groups currently unable to visit.”

The Leasowes is a Grade One-listed park on English Heritage's list of parks and gardens.