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A £1.75 million investment programme continues to brighten up playtime for children across County Durham.

Durham County Council’s play space refurbishment scheme has seen it provide funding to improve children’s play spaces countywide, with further financial support from local members’ Neighbourhood Budgets, Area Action Partnerships (AAPs), Section 106 contributions from housing developers and town and parish councils.

Working in consultation with residents, schools and partner organisations, 45 play spaces are being improved or updated.

Refurbishments include updating swings, slides, climbing apparatus, swirl roundabouts and skate parks.

In addition, brand new play spaces are being created to meet gaps in provision.

Jimmy Bennett, the council’s clean and green manager, said: “We’re really shining a light on promoting and inspiring child development through the play space scheme.

“New or updated play spaces ensure children can spend time outdoors having fun with their friends in a safe and accessible environment.

“A countywide and phased approach means updated play spaces are provided right across County Durham and will hopefully serve generations to come.”

Play spaces which have already benefited from new or revamped facilities include: 

Phase one

Consett Academy Skate Park; Crookgate, Burnopfield; The Chains, Durham City; St Lukes, Sedgefield; Jobson Terrace, Stanley Crook; Town Park, Willington; Stainton Moor, Startforth; Barnard Castle; Annfield Plain Park; Richmond Road Park, Newton Hall; Wharton Park, Durham City; Holliday Park, Durham City; Snows Green Road, Shotley Bridge; Recreation Ground, Coundon Skate Park; Glenholme Park, Crook Skate Park; Holly Terrace, Catchgate.

Phase two

No Place, Stanley; East Stanley; The Wynd, Pelton; Merryoaks Low Barnes, Durham City; Crook Glenholme Park Skate /MUGA Lights; Jubilee Park, Howden-le-Wear; Jane Armstrong Park, Bishop Auckland.

Phase three

Moorside, Consett; Baliol Road, Newton Aycliffe; Sunnybrow; Stanhope playing fields; Westfields, Stanley; Riverside Park, Chester-le-Street; Pennine View play area, Tow Law; Moorfoot play area, Chester-le-Street; Perkinsville play area.

A number of other schemes will be developed in 2018 with confirmed sites at: Cooper Hall, Witton Gilbert; Ebchester; Hardy Corner, Consett; The Grove play area, Consett, View Lane Park, Stanley; Sacriston Deneside Cross Lane, Templetown Consett, and Binchester.

Cllr Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, added: “We recognise that play is a fundamental aspect of children’s everyday lives and we really hope they enjoy the new facilities.

“We’ve already worked with a number of schools; children and residents to ensure designs and play equipment will be well received and meet the needs of local communities.

“Watching the children play you can see how much they enjoy the revamped play areas and we look forward to our youngsters making the most of them for years to come.”

All sites are developed in line with the council’s Fixed Play Strategy, which was agreed by its Cabinet in July 2015.

For more information visit: www.durham.gov.uk/playspacerefurb

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