A popular park pool is set to make new waves after being given a £250,000 makeover.
The paddling area at Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street now includes a splash pad which incorporates interactive water features.
It comes after Durham County Council decided to invest cash in the play area after the old pool reached the end of its life, with repairs carried out as it tried to extend its life for as long as it was possible.
The revamped area was given an official launch to mark the completion of the project as the bank holiday weekend got under way.
It has become the only play area of its kind in County Durham and will remain open until the end of this month.
Councillor Maria Plews, the council’s cabinet member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning, said the decision to develop the area was made after recognising the old paddling area was a popular feature.
We hope this will also attract new visitors to Chester-le-Street throughout the summer months.Councillor Maria Plews
She added: “We hope this will also attract new visitors to Chester-le-Street throughout the summer months.”
Chester-le-Street and District Area Action Partnership (AAP), which gives residents and businesses the opportunity to have their say on projects and funding, helped work on the designs.
It also brought in members of the Friends of the Riverside Park group, who worked with the AAP as plans were drawn up and contractors were brought in as work began in April and was finished off at the start of last month..
The play area covers around 5,000 sq metres and has been designed to be suitable for toddlers up to teenagers, with its central feature a 16ft castle, inspired by Lumley Castle, which overlooks the park.
An onsite ticketing system has been introduced to avoid queues during busy periods and ensure the maximum capacity is not exceeded, offering visitors allocated time slots of 45 minutes from 11am to 2pm.
The park was opened in the 1930s and redeveloped in the 1990s and features artist-designed ornamental gardens, an events arena, play area and a park centre with cafe and toilets.