Families try out new play park + VIDEO

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FAMILIES got in to the swing of it when they put a new play area to the test.

The equipment has been installed in Hawthorn Square, Seaham, after a residents’ group’s campaign to replace the ageing and outdated kit.

With the help of Groundwork North East and the town council, old fencing and bushes were removed, and a football area was put in alongside new play park.

The end of the £49,000 project was marked with a celebration which included face painting, balloon modelling, football challenges and games.

Funding for the work was given by the Community Spaces Programme, which is part of the Big Lottery Funds Changing Spaces Initiative.

Marie Rowland, chairwoman of the residents’ group, said: “We started this project in order to make the area safer for the children.

“There used to be problems of antisocial behaviour on the site and the area was an eyesore due to an old dilapidated play area and unsightly bushes.

“The bushes made visibility across the site difficult which made it hard for parents to supervise their children so they didn’t allow children to play on the open space.

“This has made a huge difference and made it a better place for all.

“We’re all very happy with the work carried out so far and are hoping to further improve the site and are looking for additional funding to do this.”

Joanne Ashworth, senior projects officer for Groundworks, said: “The residents of Hawthorn Square are a dedicated group and Marie in particular has worked tirelessly.

“It has been hard but it’s their dedication that has led to such an amazing amount of funding being secured.”

The fund has also allocated the group money to run activities during the school holidays.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham