Waste ground near a Northumberland housing estate has been transformed into a state-of- the-art play area by Isos Housing.
The not-for-profit housing association has ploughed £55,000 into turning the plot at Castle Lea in Prudhoe – which had been left derelict and overgrown for 13 years – into a modern playground for local children.
Work started on site in April after an extensive consultation exercise was held with residents and Isos tenants last year to assess what was needed at the site. Of the 36 properties on the Castle Lea estate, 26 are owned by Isos.
The equipment, installed by Cumbria-based supplier Playdale Playgrounds, includes a football goal, a stainless steel suspended bridge walkway and a low level climbing wall with traversing rope net, as well as a toddler play tower with slide and scramble net, plus the more traditional swing sets and see-saws. A safety surface of bonded rubber mulch has also been laid.
The work is the latest in a series of playground upgrades carried out by Isos in Northumberland – play areas at Wylam and Newbrough have also been recently revamped and improved.
Isos localism officer Lewis Rimington said: “The site, which was a designated play area, had just been left for a number of years and nothing had been done about it.
“We held a consultation event last summer and went door-to- door asking both residents and our tenants what they wanted to see on the site. What we have put in place is a traditional play area using modern equipment.
“It’s been a case of trying to get the balance of equipment right, because we appreciate there are children of all ages living on the estate, so we’ve tried to cater for that.”
Lewis added: “Residents are delighted with the work; they’ve been very complimentary and grateful that, at last, Isos has been able to provide a proper play area for local children after so many years.
“Work progressed relatively smoothly and we would particularly like to thank local company Bespoke Concrete whose Tynedale Works site is near the play area; they were very understanding during the construction period and acted as a good neighbour during that time.”
The project was also supported by Prudhoe Town Council and, in particular, local councillor for the Castle and Eltringham ward, Coun. George McCreedy.