New £60k play area to open in Pontefract Valley Gardens

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Youngsters in Pontefract will soon be enjoying a new £60,000 play area at Friarwood Valley Garden as part of a council scheme.

The new facility will feature a range of equipment for children aged two to 11.

It has been funded by a £60,000 grant from Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN).

Colin White, chairman of the Friends of Friarwood Valley Gardens group, said: “We have been working on this for two years so it’s great that the work is going to start.

“I think it will lead to more visitors coming to the gardens. It is already visited by a lot of young families and that’s one of the reasons why something like this is needed.”

The group carried out a survey of visitors to the gardens to see what improvements they would like to see.

Visitors said they would like a play area.

Coun Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for environment and communities, said: “Friarwood Valley Gardens is a designated Grade II historic garden and conservation area so it is important the play area reflects the natural theme of the gardens.

“We’ve worked closely with Friends of Friarwood Valley Gardens to ensure the new area complements the environment.”

The wooden equipment will include a climbing frame and swings.

It will be split into a toddler zone and junior zone.

There will also be new picnic benches installed.

Coun Cummings said: “We believe the new play and picnic area will have a long-lasting positive impact on the local community. “

Work on the play area, to be installed by Sutcliffe Play, will start on March 23 and is due to be completed by mid May.