In the 1920s, the City Council embarked on a range of capital projects to provide leisure facilities for its growing population. The importance of active recreation was starting to be recognised and Tinside Pool was planned at about the same time. Between 1925 and 1929, the Council bought land for the new park. Most of it had been farmland since at least the 18th century although the purchases also included Pounds House and its grounds.
In 1927, Thomas H Mawson was appointed as the landscape architect. He was one of the most prolific and influential designers of his time and his appointment shows the City Council’s determination to have the very best for the new park. The plan in 1928 bears Mawson’s stylistic hallmarks although it is likely that most of it would have been undertaken by his son, E Prentice Mawson.
Following endorsement by the Hoe and Parks Committee, the City Council obtained a loan from the Ministry of Health to start implementing the plan. It included the use of unemployed labourers as part of a national job creation scheme and construction work started in January 1930.
Central Park was formally opened to the public at a ceremony held on 29 July 1931 although most of the planned features had still to be built. That remained the case at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 and the principal exceptions which still survive are the park’s main footpaths, the car park on Outland Road and the bowling greens.