New £50k play area is welcome boost to park

Wingate and Station Town Family Centre chairman John Cairns cuts the ribbon while local families and children and Groundwork North East staff look on.
Wingate and Station Town Family Centre chairman John Cairns cuts the ribbon while local families and children and Groundwork North East staff look on.

YOUNGSTERS have somewhere new to play after a £50,000 facility was unveiled at a village park.

Wingate and Station Town Family Centre, along with Wingate Parish Council and Groundwork North East, worked together on a bid for £49,998 of Big Lottery cash.

The successful bid was spent on the latest phase of improvements to the village’s Welfare Park.

New wooden play equipment has been installed at the park to complement the existing play facilities by adding an area that uses the natural environment and offers something different from traditional play areas.

The new equipment is located within the park’s wooded area and incorporates a climbing wall, climbing trail and zip line.

A celebration event featuring woodland activities, wood-sculpting workshops, play rangers, games and crafts, was held and scores of local youngsters attended to give their seal of approval to the new equipment.

Wingate and Station Town Family Centre chairman John Cairns, who cut the ribbon at the event, said: “On behalf of the family centre I would like to thank everybody who turned out to the open event.

“We had 100 children there, even though the weather was poor.”

Mr Cairns thanked everyone involved in the project and added: “The response from the kids has been great - they were over the moon.

“It is also nice to see that as this was Lottery money, the new facility did not cost anything to the council taxpayer of Wingate.”

Joanne Ashworth, senior project officer with Groundwork North East, said: “It’s been a really good project.

“Welfare Park has had a lot of improvements over the years and this is just another phase of that.

“This provides an excellent facility for the slightly older young people of Wingate.”

The project was funded by the Community Spaces Programme, which is part of the Big Lottery Funds Changing Spaces initiative.