Building on the future for village youngsters

WORK has started on a £70,000 scheme to provide state-of-the-art play equipment for Pegswood youngsters.

The recreation area will be sited next to the new pavilion, close to the Welfare Field and fire station, and will contain features such as a bird’s nest swing, willow tunnel, timber climbing structure, roundabout and wildlife buffer area.

A dry river bed will offer a range of creative play opportunities, with areas of sand, cemented cobbles and pebbles, and boulders, as well as pockets of sensory planting.

Pegswood Community Action, which was set up to implement projects and act on issues highlighted in the Pegswood Village Plan, secured £45,000 of the total from a successful application to Northumberland County Council for money from the Government-funded Playbuilder Scheme.

But the action group faced a nervous wait as the national 2010/2011 allocation of funds was reviewed.

However, members were finally able to celebrate in November last year when it was announced the money would stay in place.

Now the opening of the play area is just weeks away.

Chairman of the group’s Youth and Leisure section Juliet Oakley said: “We appreciated that we needed more youth facilities in the village and so we were delighted to eventually get the Playbuilder funding.

“There was an expectation from the children who took part in the consultation and everyone involved that it would go ahead so a lot of people would have been upset if the project was cancelled.

“The play area will have plenty of fun, natural features and we have tried to incorporate the children’s ideas as far as the budget allowed.

“It has been designed with the target age group, eight to 14, in mind, but younger children with adult supervision can go there as well.

“Landscaping and construction work has started, but there is much to do including installation of equipment and safety checks.

“It is also essential to give the grassed areas the chance to establish before the heavy use it is sure to see so we are aiming to open the play area in May.”

The other £25,000 for the project was awarded by Pegswood Parish Council.