Rundown Sunderland playpark gets £12,000 overhaul

Jessica Stokoe, aged five, with her nine-year-old brother  Anthony celebrating the official opening of the new play park at The Hollows, Westheath Avenue, Grangetown, watched by Kelly Dodd, Alan Duffy and Louise Bolt from Gentoo, Coun Peter Wood and Helen Cheetham from Groundwork North East.
Jessica Stokoe, aged five, with her nine-year-old brother Anthony celebrating the official opening of the new play park at The Hollows, Westheath Avenue, Grangetown, watched by Kelly Dodd, Alan Duffy and Louise Bolt from Gentoo, Coun Peter Wood and Helen Cheetham from Groundwork North East.
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A FORMER rundown play park has reopened after a major overhaul.

The Hollows in Westheath Avenue, Grangetown, has been regenerated as part of the Transform Your Patch campaign, which aims to renovate up to 165 outdoor spaces across the country.

Following the 12-month project, which cost £12,000, the attraction now has a multi-games board, which includes a basketball hoop, cricket stumps, five-a-side goal and pitch markings, as well as a trim trail, and 50m running and cycling circuit.

The scheme was a partnership between community charity Groundwork and soft drink manufacturers Britvic and PepsiCo.

Helen Cheetham, senior project officer at Groundwork North East, said: “We’re thrilled to be part of the ‘Transform Your Patch’ campaign.

“All the hard work has now paid off, and the people of Sunderland have a project to be proud of.

“The partnership between Groundwork and Britvic has really made a difference.

“It shows what can be achieved when a strong charity works with a major corporate partner.”

The move followed research which showed that families believed access to outdoor space was “vital to the sense of spirit and connection within a community”.

The playground and surrounding estate is overseen by Wearside-based property firm Gentoo, which has also given its backing to the project.

“Thanks to match funding from Gentoo Sunderland, this playground provides something for all ages and really encourages health and fitness,” said Helen.

Alan Duffy, head of operations at Gentoo Group, said the organisation worked hard to help develop community projects.

“Our Devolved Budget Scheme gives our five Local Customer Panels the opportunity to allocate funding to schemes within their neighbourhoods,” he said.

“This project was something our customers felt would really benefit their local community.

“We are really pleased to be involved in a project that has provided a space for young people and for families to enjoy.

“At Gentoo we are committed to improving the lives of those living and working in our communities and this initiative has helped us to do just that.”