A PLAY area where residents have called for refurbishment for almost a decade is finally set for an upgrade.

Work is due to begin on transforming the Sycamore Drive play area, in Middlewich, this week following years of pressure for improvement.

The project – carried out by Ansa, Cheshire East Council and Middlewich Town Council – is set to be funded by Section 106 contributions from recent housing developments.

Cllr Mike Hunter, Labour CEC member for Middlewich and town councillor, told the Guardian it would be a ‘much-welcomed improvement’.

He said: “Over the last five to 10 years Middlewich has suffered horrendously from new development.

Winsford Guardian:

“Our job has been to ensure that this Section 106 money is spent for the residents of our town.

“We take parks and open spaces for children very seriously, and in a town that keeps losing its green outskirts, green spaces within the town are especially important.”

Members of the community started an appeal to stop the play area falling into dilapidation back in 2010, after Cheshire East Council conducted a review of public spaces.

Plans for a revamped play area were then ‘pushed up the agenda’ by Middlewich Vision in 2014 following complaints about it raised on the Middlewich Community Group on Facebook – but it never came to fruition.

“Nothing ever happened from that really,” Cllr Hunter said.

“Then at the elections since 2015 one of the big issues we heard was about the state of the play area at Sycamore Drive, so we made it a priority once Fountain Fields had been redeveloped.”

Primary school youngsters helped to choose the new equipment – which will include multi-play units, mini games and a pirate’s boat – while some of the existing equipment will be kept on.

New safety surfacing will also be installed, while the outer perimeter fencing will be tidied up, two new gates will be installed, surfaces will be levelled and pathways will be upgraded for easier pushchair and wheelchair access.

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Cllr Hunter added: “This project forms part of Labour’s overall plans to improve play areas within Middlewich and ensure that young people and families have leisure spaces that are of a high standard, providing a safe environment for children to play in.”

The work is set to last for between four and five weeks.