Abbey and Chloe Georgeson and Miguel Moore enjoy play facilities in Gateshead
It’s swings and roundabouts galore in Gateshead now that children and young people are taking advantage of a £1million scheme to develop fixed play areas in the borough.
A scheme began in 2005 to develop fixed play areas in Gateshead over three years and since then a number of play areas have been upgraded or introduced to give local people the chance to enjoy the outdoors nearby.
Multi-use games areas at Chase Park in Whickham and Oliver Henderson park are now complete and in use. A new ball court on Argyle Street is now finished, a skate park at Greenside Park is up and running and a play area at Stanton Close in Wardley are attracting youngsters regularly.
Additional play equipment has also been installed at Sunderland Rd play area next to library, Heworth Welfare Park, Felling Park, Cromwell Street and Longbank play area in Wrekenton.
Coming up over the summer months, a ball court accommodating football and basket ball at Derwent Park in Rowlands Gill will be completed. Work at Saltwell Park in Gateshead to feature two new ball courts will be finished and at Ferndene Park in Ryton a new tennis court and boules court will soon be on offer.
A number of new play areas that are currently under construction are also due to be complete by August at High Spen park, Oliver Henderson Park, Portmeads and Rutland Square in Birtley.
Cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Catherine Donovan, said, “Fixed play gives children the chance to develop their social and interactive skills in a stimulating environment. Well equipped places for children and young people to play help to reduce anti-social behaviour, improve the health and well being of young people and are important in development of local communities.
“They are an important part of the council’s provision for children - it’s only right that we invest and maintain them and we’re pleased to see work has already begun.”
Gateshead Council currently manages 134 fixed play sites in total. Of those, 95 are already fully equipped with fixed play equipment. As well as the work in parks, the plans include the upgrade of 27 fixed play sites. Another three are being re-equipped.
Four new sites are also being created by Gateshead Council’s Local Environmental Services, six additional sites will be made possible from external funding and a number of other sites are being planned by local housing developers.
Further work has also been undertaken to identify ongoing demand for local
play facilities and new locations in areas where there has been unmet
demand for or an absence of alternative facilities nearby.
Under the scheme, the 27 local play sites affected will include a toddler multi-play unit with slide and a set of toddler swings, fencing where necessary and seating. In appropriate locations, a small 5-a-side set of football goalposts or, where space is limited, one goal and a basketball unit will also be provided.
And within the new plans, parks serving a wider neighbourhood will feature a broader range of equipment and where appropriate, Gateshead Council will support initiatives working with local community groups.