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Major funding boost for children's play areas

Article By: Durham County Council

Work starts next week on improvements at four play areas in County Durham.

It marks the second phase of work in the government’s Playbuilder scheme, which has already seen 11 play areas in County Durham benefit from funding of £1.2 million during phase one in 2009.

Work in phase two of the scheme begins on Monday (May 9) and will see further funding of £603,000 being used to create new play areas or improve existing ones at 13 sites throughout the county.

The first four play areas to benefit from the funding are at Hilltop Park, Quarrington Hill; Newfield, Bishop Auckland; Hedley Houses, Waterhouses and Waldridge Village.

Cllr Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships at Durham County Council, said: “It’s great to see the Playbuilder schemes taking shape. At one point last year it looked like the funding was not going to be forthcoming, but that issue has been overcome and, thanks to a further boost by a range of local funding, these play areas look set to benefit our young people for many years to come.”

Funding for the second phase has been boosted through contributions – totalling £536,779 – from a range of partner organisations, including Groundwork, local county councillors, Area Action Partnerships, Seaham Town Council, Cornsay Colliery Parish Council, Hawthorn Parish Council, Eggleston Parish Council and a number of local community groups.

A new play area in Eggleston and an improved play area at Seaham have already been completed as part of the project.

Brand new play areas are also being created in Ebchester and TheDales, Newton Aycliffe, while improvements will be carried out at play areas at Hilltop Park, Quarrington Hill; Newfield, Bishop Auckland; Waldridge Village; Hedley Houses, Waterhouses; Escomb Village; Shadforth; Jubilee Park, Howden le Wear; Cornsay Colliery; and Hawthorn Village.