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Play areas in Ronkswood and Dines Green to benefit from £45,000 refurbishment
THOUSANDS of pounds will be spent on revamping children’s play areas in two of the poorest parts of Worcester.
Worcester City Council is investing more than £45,000 on overhauling playgrounds in Ronkswood and Dines Green.
The site outside Ronkswood Community Centre will be closed from Wednesday, March 20, for the installation of a 20 metre aerial runway for older children and climbing areas, as well as toddler swings, slides and climbing frames for younger children in a £31,000 revamp.
Work will begin on the Howard Road site in Dines Green from Monday, which will become home to nearly £15,000 worth of equipment including overhead bars and ropes, a rope ladder, a cargo net and spider’s web.
It is hoped both play areas will re-open in time for the school Easter holidays.
Councillor Richard Boorn, whose constituency includes Ronkswood Community Centre, welcomed the news.
He said: “Any money that’s spent on children’s activities when there’s a reduction overall in the city on what we spend on [is to be welcomed] and especially in one of the areas of highest need.
“It will make a difference to local families as sadly, today, a lot of entertainment for children you have to pay for and with the squeeze on parents economically, it’s nice to have a public facility that’s new, useable and safe.”
But, St John’s and Dines Green councillor, Richard Udall, has called for the work in Howard Road to be put on hold over concerns about the suitability of the location and type of equipment.
He said residents wanted equipment for younger children as there was none on the estate at present and it was felt the Howard Road area was isolated.
A spokeswoman for Worcester City Council said the new equipment in Dines Green is a direct replacement for equipment for a similar age group at the same site.
However, council is talking to Malvern Hills District Council - as the area is on the border - about securing more play areas, including equipment for younger children, in the future.
Councillor Roger Knight, cabinet member for cleaner and greener, said: “Providing high quality play facilities across the city is incredibly important – giving areas where children have much greater freedom to play, explore and get some healthy outdoor exercise.
“I’m sure residents in these two areas will really welcome having these state-of-the-art play areas, right on their doorstep.”
About £7,400 of the total spend has come from the developers of the nearby Woodside Gardens development at Larkhill.