Revamp for children’s play areas

Half a million pounds is being invested into 11 children’s play areas across Northumberland.

In the first phase, housing association Isos will install new equipment and redesign sites in Newbrough and Wylam in the New Year. The first phase of the project is expected to be complete by March 2015 and then work on play areas in Acomb, Allendale, Bellingham, Halton Lea Gate, Haydon Bridge, Morpeth (2) and Prudhoe (2) will be phased from 2015/16.

The play areas are located on a number of Isos housing developments across Northumberland and all are currently in need of a makeover.

The plans come on top of recent work to deliver a brand new £28,000 play space at The Riggs housing development in Corbridge, Northumberland. As part of the improvements, Corbridge Parish Council has signed a 30-year lease to manage and maintain the development.

Isos appointed specialist play company Playdale to develop a four-to-five year plan to improve the play areas. The work is expected to be completed on the first two sites before the end of March next year.

Lewis Rimington, Localism Officer at Isos Housing said:

“These play areas are a central feature of the local community – a place where people can come together and children can get some much-needed playtime and exercise. But in recent years they have begun to show their age.

“So this year we took the decision to invest in improving them while coming up with a viable plan to secure their long term maintenance and upkeep. Involving local parish and town councils seems the logical next step to ensuring these play areas continue to play a vital role in community life.”

Isos held public consultation events at Newbrough and Wylam before starting work, and intends to do the same for the remaining nine locations.

Where feasible, local parish and town councils will be approached to discuss the future management and maintenance of the play areas.

Isos recognises the importance of providing play spaces within communities. The renovation work is intended to improve the quality of life for residents.

Updates on the renovation work and detailed plans for the remaining nine play areas will be announced in the coming months.

The 11 play areas benefiting from investment are:

  • Millersfield, Acomb
  • Allenfields, Allendale
  • Hillside, Bellingham
  • Leaside, Halton Lea Gate
  • Langley Gardens, Haydon Bridge
  • Sidgate, Newbrough, Hexham
  • The Gill, Prudhoe
  • Castle Lea, Prudhoe
  • Hedley Road, Wylam
  • Church Walk, Morpeth
  • Stobhillgate, Morpeth