Work Starts on 70k Playground

Brambledown have begun work at Cornsay Colliery to construct a brand new Play Area for the local residents.

cornsay colliery play area durhamAn article in yesterdays Northern Echo reads: After years of fund-raising, it had been feared plans for Cornsay Colliery’s new playground would be scrapped after the Government slashed the £235m Playbuilder programme last summer.

However, the coalition performed a U-turn and handed Durham County Council more than £600,000 to complete phase two of its Playbuilder work, meaning 13 play areas could go ahead.

Cornsay Colliery’s will include a climbing boulder, climbing ship, mega swing, climbing net, spring animals and football facilities, costing a total of £71,040.

The fund included nearly £50,000 from Playbuilder, £10,000 from the Area Action Partnership and £5,000 each from Cornsay Parish Council and ESB Wind Farm Community Fund.

The work will be organised by Groundwork North East and carried out by the Durham branch of Brambledown Play Area Contractors who are an external works company specialising in Sportsgrounds, Play Areas and Landscaping. It is expected to take up to two months to complete.

The climbing ship was chosen because the playground site was formerly a brickyard, which sent materials to be used as ballast on whaling ships bound for the Falkland Islands.

Barbara Armstrong, chair of Cornsay Parish Council, led a turf-cutting ceremony today.

She said: "We were living in fear we were going to lose our funding. I’m so pleased work is starting."

County councillor Joe Armstrong said: "We’re a very small and close-knit community here in Cornsay Colliery. We’re very pleased to be using a local contractor (Brambledown), somebody we know and trust, for a project like this."

Villagers enjoyed refreshments afterwards in the Royal Oak pub.

Meanwhile, Cornsay Colliery is set for more than £15,000-worth of anti-speeding measures.

Couns Joe Armstrong and Malcolm Campbell have given £9,000 and £6,250 respectively from their member’s budgets to pay for a new crossing island, road markings and signs, partly to help create a safe crossing for children wanting to use the new play area.

Neil Blakelock of Brambledown is heading up the construction of the Play Area which has gathered a lot of positive press in recent weeks and will hopefully be ready in 2 months.

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