City park has makeover and becomes accessible

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Work to give a much-loved park in Lancaster a major facelift is heading into its final stages.

The play area at Ryelands Park has been specially designed by environmental charity Groundwork to be fully accessible to local young people of all ages and abilities, following extensive consultation with Lancaster City Council and park users, including Loyne Specialist School.

Groundwork received a grant of £44,320 from United Utilities as part of the United Futures partnership, which funds projects in areas disrupted by improvements to the water and sewer network.

This initial donation then enabled the group to attract further funding from the Lancashire Environment Fund and Britvic’s ‘Transform Your Patch’ scheme.

Many new features have been 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, will also be included.

Dawn Harrington, project manager for United Utilities, said: “We know there can be nothing worse than the disruption caused by the vital works we carry out so it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for the community.”

Andy Darron, executive director for Groundwork, said: “We’re thrilled with the progress being made with the play area at Ryelands Park and look forward to its opening.”

The new play area will be officially launched on June 20.