Flagstaff play park reopens after revamp

A Berwick play park has reopened earlier than planned following an £80,000 refurbishment.

Monday, 26th December 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:02 pm
Flagstaff Park in Berwick

Flagstaff Park reopened just before Christmas, although only passers-by would have known given the lack of fanfare.

However, those children who have spotted it have been able to test it out over the school holidays.

Gareth Davies, interim clerk at Berwick Town Council, explained: “The work at Flagstaff Park is now substantially complete although the contractors will be back at the start of February because they have installed a piece of stainless steel equipment rather than the wooden one we asked for.

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“The original intention was that the fencing surrounding the park would remain until Christmas to allow the ground to bed in and to allow the dust to come off the pathways. However, the contractors proposed a ridiculous price for that and that’s why the fencing was taken down a week early.”

An official opening for the park, located next to the Rose Gardens, is being planned for next month.

It has swings, slides, climbing frames, rope ladders, a roundabout and see-saw – a far cry from its former plight which was stripped of everything apart from a toddlers’ swing.

There is also a disabled swing with an extra harness. It is also accessible for wheelchairs and parents with pushchairs.

Funding for the upgrade was allocated in 2014 but was initially held up by Berwick Town Council’s well-documented internal wranglings.

More recently, the project was delayed for drainage work by Northumbrian Water and the need to get consent from Historic England because of its proximity to the Elizabethan ramparts. As a result of that, an archaeological brief was also required when digging work took place.

Play equipment manufacturer Kompan carried out the project.

It was also revealed at last week’s full council meeting that refurbishment work is due to start on the play park at Grove Gardens South in Tweedmouth in the second week of January.

The £30,000 scheme has an emphasis on play equipment for older children. Earlier this year, the play park won £12,000 through the Bags of Help initiative run by Tesco at its Tweedmouth store in conjunction with Groundwork.

Renovations at the Osborne play park, also in Tweedmouth, are scheduled to follow in February. New swings, a see-saw, slide and climbing net are planned.

The town council plans to refurbish the other play parks it has responsibility for on a one-by-one basis as funds become available.