Work set to start on repairs Charlies Park play area in Jarrow after suspected arson attack by 'mindless vandals'
Work to repair a play park hit by a sickening suspected arson attack will start next week.
The incident was met with anger and dismay by families, community groups and councillors.
Now work is due to begin on Monday 3 August to replace the play unit, and carry out some additional repairs to the site.
Council chiefs say the work means the area will be closed to the public until the project is completed, which is expected to be mid-August.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “It is extremely disappointing that mindless vandals made such significant damage to the play ship at Charlies Park that it had to be removed from the area.
“Although the repairing of the structure has been delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was a key priority to get back on site and repair the damage and we are extremely pleased to announce that work is due to start next week.”
It was announced in March that the boat and flooring that surround the play ship will be replaced this financial year.
The ship is the centrepiece of the play park which sits between Jarrow Hall and St Paul’s Church, off Church Bank.
The play park opened in 2010 after a £130,000 project, developed by South Tyneside Council's Sports Development Team with joint funding from the Playbuilder scheme and then regional development agency One North East.
The area, which also features swings, a zip line and fitness trail, was designed along an Anglo-Saxon/Viking theme, in keeping with its location.
News of the fire has caused an outpouring of upset and anger online at the time.
One mother said: “This is so maddening my kids go here all the time. They will be disappointed like a whole load of other kids.”
Cllr Atkinson added: “I would like to remind residents that any information on deliberate fires can be reported anonymously through FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558.”