Celebrations as play area opens

PLAY TIME: Kanye Stone (foreground) with other youngsters at the new Gorsey Bank play area
PLAY TIME: Kanye Stone (foreground) with other youngsters at the new Gorsey Bank play area
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Families are celebrating after a threatened £36,000 project to resurrect a town’s recreation ground has been completed.

Derbyshire County Council pulled the plug on the long-awaited scheme for Gorsey Bank in Wirksworth, last July, leaving residents furious.

The funding was withdrawn due to government spending cuts.

But in January councillors announced they would now be receiving money, meaning the new children’s play area’s could be built – and after six months the facility is finally up and running.

A multi-use games area, cradle swing and climbing frame are among the attractions at the site, completed by Derbyshire Dales District Council.

Gorsey Bank resident Julie Stone, whose five-year-old son Kanye loves the new facility, said: “This is a fantastic place for local children and already it is incredibly well used.

“It brings together different ages and there’s something for everyone.”

The Wirksworth play area follows on from the successful completion of other district council play areas in Bakewell and Darley Dale.

Chairman of Derbyshire Dales District Council’s community and environment committee, Janet Goodison said: “Even when the funding apparently dried up, we held a meeting with the town council and the Gorsey Bank Residents’ Association to consider different ways of providing a new play area, including alternative funding sources.

“Happily the original funding package was reinstated and the great thing about this facility is that it’s the young people who have told us what they wanted to see here.

“The district council has shown great determination to deliver on our promises to get more people active and leading healthier lives.”

Additional funding came from Dales Housing, £2,000 came through district councillor Garry Purdy from the Derbyshire County Council Community Fund and £1,000 has been raised by Gorsey Bank Residents’ Association, bringing the total funding available to more than £40,000.

Andy Pollock, chairman of Gorsey Bank Residents’ Association said: “We are grateful to the district council for listening to us and supporting us, delivering exactly what the community desired.

“In fact the original scheme was improved with the addition of the aerial runway, and this is proving a hit with children.”

l What do you think of the new play area? Do your children use it? Get in touch by emailing news@matlockmercury.co.uk go to www.matlockmercury.co.uk for find us on Facebook and Twitter.