Children have swinging time at new play area

Back row: County Coun Nicky Penny, Coun Robert Redfern and Dawn Harrington, project manager for United Utilities.'Front row: Dylan Butterworth, Kenny Smith and Daniel Dixon.
Back row: County Coun Nicky Penny, Coun Robert Redfern and Dawn Harrington, project manager for United Utilities.'Front row: Dylan Butterworth, Kenny Smith and Daniel Dixon.

Schoolchildren in Lancaster had the chance to enjoy a special playtime in the sunshine as the new play area in Ryelands Park was officially opened.

Representatives from United Utilities, who provided a grant of £44,320 to help fund the park, Groundwork and Lancaster City Council joined the children in a treasure hunt and playtime.

At the launch, Dawn Harrington, project manager for United Utilities, said how proud the company was to have contributed to the makeover of the park.

She added: “I have passed the playground a few times since it was made available and it is already being fully used, which is great to see. I do hope it will be a great asset to the local community, a key area for families and most importantly, a fun space for the children.”

The project was part of the United Futures partnership, between United Utilities and Groundwork, which funds projects in areas disrupted by improvements to the water and sewer network, and attracted further funding from the Lancashire Environment Fund and Britvic’s Transform Your Patch scheme following United Utilities’ initial donation.

Coun David Smith, Lancaster City Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “We have been working with partners and local people to improve the facilities at Ryelands Park.

“Thanks to the funding from United Utilities, the Lancashire Environment fund and the Transform your Patch grant, we have now seen everyone’s efforts provide something really special for local children whatever their ability.”

Many new features were added to the park design, including a double-width slide built into a specially 
landscaped embankment with a wheelchair-accessible ramp.

The design allows carers to easily assist children with disabilities.

Additional play features, which provide more challenging play for more able-bodied children, such as ropes, nets and climbing frames, have also been included.