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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Work starts on £75,000 Carlisle play area revamp

Work has started on an eagerly-awaited £75,000 revamp of a play area.

Harraby play area photo
Jenny Cray, of the Friends of Petteril Valley and Dale End Park

Equipment at Dale End Park in Harraby, Carlisle, is being replaced as part of the project.

The upgrade is being carried out after 30 children living nearby told council chiefs what improvements they’d like to see for the area.

And it’s one of the projects proving a tonic in some parts of the city in the wake of controversial cuts that saw equipment removed from a string of play areas.

Members of the Carlisle South Community Association played a key role in rallying support for the project, being led by Carlisle City Council.

The bulk of the money for the scheme – £60,000 – has come though legal agreements that building developers who have worked in the area have with the authority.

Nearby residents this week said they were delighted to see work get underway.

Jenny Cray, who lives on Welsh Road and is a member of the Friends of Petteril Valley and Dale End Park, said: “The children are going to get the play area they deserve. I can’t tell you how excited they are getting about it.

“I’ve always thought it was the Cinderella play area locally, it was so dilapidated. It is going to be fantastic when it is finished.

“We’re hoping also to get a small BMX track at some stage but that could take longer to get sorted.”

Work at Dale End involves a complete revamp of the junior play equipment and refurbishment of its infant section. New safety fencing is also being installed.

As well the developer contributions, a £15,000 grant has come from Cumbria Waste Management Environment Trust.

Securing that money was dependent on support being shown from other areas so Harraby’s county councillor Deborah Earl contributed £500 from her local member’s scheme budget and secured another £500 through the authority’s community grants scheme.

Getting the cash also relied on community support.

Members of the community association helped collate views, while people at youth clubs were consulted.

Families who use the nearby Carlisle South Sure Start Centre were also asked to help choose play equipment for the toddler park.

City council deputy leader Elsie Martlew said: “We’d like to thank everyone involved in putting this scheme together.

“The views of the local community has determined what equipment will be installed. More investment is planned for other play areas within the city.”

Work at Dale End is separate to the review of play areas carried out by the council as it tries to cope with the impact of Government spending cuts on its budget, but which attracted heavy criticism in some areas.

Although part of that programme included removing equipment from a string of parks across the district, it has included a £50,000 investment in some others.

As part of this, new play equipment has been installed at Yewdale, while equipment will also be installed or upgraded in 13 separate play areas throughout Carlisle.

Work has already been completed in Fusehill Street, Briar Bank, Parkland Village and Broad Street play areas and work in Denton Street play area is partially complete.

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