Pulling together for new play area

Chairman of Monk Hesleden Parish Council Bass Underwood (centre) with children and friends in the Hart Crescent play area. Picture by FRANK REID
Chairman of Monk Hesleden Parish Council Bass Underwood (centre) with children and friends in the Hart Crescent play area. Picture by FRANK REID
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YOUNGSTERS have somewhere to call their own after a community joined forces to have a play park built in their neighbourhood.

Blackhall Rocks Residents’ Association worked together with Monk Hesleden Parish Council and local county councillors to get a play facility installed at Hart Crescent, in Blackhall Rocks.

The need, location and equipment for the new play area were identified by the residents’ association, who will carry out the day-to-day management of the park, including opening and closing it.

The cost of the scheme was around £28,000, with £25,000 of the cost being jointly funded by Councillors Alan Cox and Rob Crute, who represent Blackhall on Durham County Council, from their Neighbourhood Budget Fund.

The facility for children aged up to 11 includes swings, a multi-play area, a roundabout and a spring-mounted rocking ride.

Chairman of the parish council, Bass Underwood, said: “This play area is an example of what can be achieved if everyone works together.

“It would not have been possible without the financial support provided by councillors Cox and Crute and most importantly the members of Blackhall Rocks Residents’ Association who have worked hard over the past two years to secure this play park for the youngsters in the area.

“The parish Council has listened to residents’ views about the play area and worked very closely with all partners including the Peterlee Neighbourhood Policing Team and street wardens to ensure the play area is respected and used for the purpose for which it has been built.

Coun Cox said: “I am pleased to be associated with this scheme and pleased to contribute as a councillor.

“Blackhall Rocks is a deprived area and it’s nice to be able to do things for the children to enjoy.”

Coun Crute said: “I was pleased to be involved with a scheme that was community-led from start to finish.

“The residents’ association has continued to put the interests of young people at the heart of the community by ensuring that they have a new play area to be proud of.”