A CITY green space has claimed second place in this year’s National Lottery Awards.

Once run-down, St James’ Park in Shirley, Southampton, has been transformed into a welcoming place for the whole community to enjoy, thanks to National Lottery funding and the hard work of the Friends of St James’ Park.

Improvements include new entrances, children’s play and wildlife areas. It is also pioneering the use of renewable energy, generating its own heat and electricity, and runs training courses to get local people into employment.

Congratulating the Friends of St James’ Park on their efforts, Jackie O’Sullivan from the National Lottery Awards, said: “We sincerely hope their involvement in this campaign has raised awareness of this fantastic park and inspired others to get involved to help continue their good work.”

Winners of the National Lottery Awards will receive their awards and a £2,000 cash prize at a star-studded ceremony in London in September, which will be broadcast on BBC One and hosted by actor John Barrowman.