Children's play area to reopen in South Shields' South Marine Park after months of closure for 'repairs and improvements'
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Council officers said the play areas would be shut for around a fortnight, but they have remained closed for months, leaving some families disappointed, particularly during the first week or so of the school summer holidays.
Bosses said sections of the timber in the play areas had deteriorated, and some surfaces and equipment have been vandalised and needed replacing.
However, the work is now almost complete and the play areas are due to reopen in time for the weekend.
The council said repairs and improvements have been made to both the infants and junior play areas.
Officers said work has involved replacing the rotten timber posts with composite posts which they say will reduce future maintenance.
There are also new soft play surfaces have been installed and new tarmac pathways have been created.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Transport and Neighbourhoods, said: “With the school summer holidays upon us, I am sure this improved play area will be a big hit with families.
“We know how valued these facilities are by both residents and visitors to the Borough so it is wonderful to see this site open again. It shows yet again how we are delivering on our priority of supporting families.”
Cllr Gibson said the re-opening of the play area has been ‘delayed significantly’ due to supply chain issues and contractor availability.
He added: “It is unfortunate that the play area has had to be closed for longer than expected and we can only apologise for this.
“However, I am sure this play area will be a welcome addition to families over the summer. Parks offer hours of free entertainment, allowing children to run off their energy in a safe environment.”
Cllr Gibson also reminded visitors of the new play facilities in neighbouring North Marine Park, which opened in spring 2020, and serve as a nearby alternative for families waiting for the South Marine Park play areas to reopen.