Have your say on council's £250k plan for park

Berwick residents can have their say on a potential £250,000 revamp of the Spittal Play Park.

By Andrew Coulson
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 11:00 am
An aerial view of the Spittal Play Park site. Picture by Sky Vantage Productions.

An online survey has been put together by Berwick-upon-Tweed Town Council after it identified that much of the equipment in the play park has come to the end of its working life.

A recent Facebook post from the local authority states: ‘Before Christmas we ran a poll and we asked: ‘Should we try to replace the park as each individual piece of equipment fails, or should we replace all the equipment at once?’.

“Overwhelmingly, you asked us to replace the entire park as soon as possible.

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“To get that done, we need to borrow some of the money involved. As a council, we can borrow the money from the government and we plan to borrow it for a period shorter than the expected lifespan of the new park.

“Do you think this is a good idea? Please take our very short poll.”

The council is considering a proposal to spend up to £250,000 replacing the play park in Spittal, borrowing up to £200,000 from the government, with a decision set to be made later this month.

This week, it has answered some ‘frequently asked questions’ prompted by residents' comments and questions on its Facebook page.

In response to ‘Why will it cost so much to replace?’ the council said: “Building a play park by the seaside is always a challenge. During the 2004 rebuild, the choice was made to use sand as the safety surface around the play equipment. Time moves on and it’s no longer good practice to use sand, especially when it’s likely to be contaminated by wind-blown sand from the beach.

“As a result, we’re budgeting for having to spend a larger proportion of money on safety surfaces.”

Other responses included the following: “We’ll keep looking for alternative funding, but we have to plan to deliver now because if we don’t raise the money, the alternative is closing the site and no play park.

“If we hit our target of only borrowing £150k, the annual repayments would be £12.8k approximately. We’re planning a like-for-like scheme, but if a better idea comes up, and is deliverable, we’d love to know about it.”

To take part in the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TWSGFQN