Top marks for playground

Madison Lilley from Layton at the new playground at Stanley Park.
Madison Lilley from Layton at the new playground at Stanley Park.
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These youngsters are among the first to test out a new £110,000 play park which has opened in Blackpool.

The animal farm-themed play area in Stanley Park boasts traditional see-saws and swings, as well as more modern features such as an interactive surfboard and a play Land Rover.

Aimed at younger children, aged between two and eight years, it has been built alongside the adventure playground which opened in 2010 and means the park now has one of the largest outdoor facilities of this kind in the North West.

A 30-year-old train climbing frame feature has also been renovated and will remain as part of the new scheme, while colourful game graphics include snakes and ladders and hopscotch.

The cost of the playground was largely met with a £60,000 grant from the SITA Trust, aimed at enhancing communities, with contributions from the council and fund-raising by the Friends of Stanley Park making up the rest of the total.

Chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park and the Salisbury Woodland, Elaine Smith, said: “The Friends of Stanley Park and the Salisbury Woodland are delighted to have helped raise the money to give a new playground for our younger park users.

“The public consultation which the Friends held in our Visitor Centre at the start of the project proved that we also had the total backing of the general public.

“Ever since the recession, the park has been busier than ever as it’s a free day out with the family, with lots of things for people to come enjoy and the new play area will just add to that offer.”

The completion of the work coincides with the park receiving a certificate of excellence from review website Tripadvisor, based on the quality of reviews and opinions the park has earned on the website over the last year.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “The whole play area of the park has been massively refurbished over the last couple of years and now provides a huge variety of activities that children can use.

“I wholeheartedly agree with all the reviewers who have praised the park, it is an excellent place for everybody to enjoy.”