PARENTS and businesses are being asked to help save the play area at a primary school.

The soft surface in the playground at Croft C of E Primary School, in Croft-on-Tees, near Darlington, is crumbling and desperately needs replacing.

It has been repaired over the years but cannot be patched up any more and the new surface will cost more than £8,000.

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Now parent fundraising group Friends of Croft School (Focs) has launched an appeal for donors to sponsor a small square of new surface for £5 each in a bid to raise £3,000 towards the cost by the end of the year.

The rest of the cost will be met by matched funding and grants.

They are also asking for larger donations from businesses and individuals, and anything over £100 will be marked with a thank you sign in the playground. Local company Banner Contracts has already donated to the appeal.

Focs chairwoman Margaret Thompson said: "There is damage from tree roots and from vandalism over the years and the surface has deteriorated so much that it cannot be patched up anymore. We welcome any offers of sponsorship."

Anyone wanting to donate to the appeal can contact Croft School on 01325-720528 or email