Youngsters celebrate opening of £27,000 playground

Play time...youngsters testing out the new equipment.
Play time...youngsters testing out the new equipment.

Excited youngsters flocked to the official opening of a new £27,000 village playground.

A host of children and parents descended on the new facility in Bishop Wilton for its official opening.

For a number of years, residents in the village have been seeking funding to replace a much-loved but worn out children’s play area on their playing field.

They were unable to find the necessary funding and matters came to a head last summer when the old equipment was finally withdrawn from use on safety grounds.

A party of parish councillors and Bishop Wilton Hall trustees then teamed up to make a final attempt to find funding for the project, and this time they were successful.

A total of £25,000 was raised from four funding sources - Awards for All, WREN, Bishop Wilton Hall and Bishop Wilton Parish Council. Community fundraising events generated a further £2,000.

Ground clearance and construction started in November but work was halted because of poor weather.

Two months later with the weather and ground conditions improved the project was finally completed and the play area was handed over to the village youngsters in a short presentation after school last Friday.

As well as being a play area, the facility, which has a picnic bench and grassed areas, is also a place for parents and grandparents to meet up and chat. There are plans to install more seating in the future.

Steve Swire, Bishop Wilton Hall trustee, said: “To have a village such as ours without a play and picnic area is unthinkable. A walk up to the playground is such a natural part of village life. The new facility has arrived in the nick of time.”

See this week’s paper (3 March) for more pictures.