CHILDREN in a small village community can finally enjoy their new play area after four years of planning.

Children in Sunniside, near Tow Law have been enjoying their new slides and swings thanks to the hard work of the community association.

Previously the play area was an ‘activity trail’ but the community wanted something better as the children never used it.

The new equipment in the play area cost £30,000 with nearly £2,000 was raised by the community association. The other £28,000 came from various groups with £17,000 coming from Durham County Council and councillor Richard Manchester.

The equipment was supposed to be installed back in September but got delayed until May but then Covid struck and things were put on hold once more. Finally, it opened in late July when the Government announced the easing of some restrictions and the re-opening of play areas.

The Community Association is hoping to install a footpath into the park in the near future to prevent it getting boggy in the winter. On top of this they want to purchase some outdoor gym equipment for parents to use while their children play.

Elizabeth Mather said: “There are now more children using it than we thought we had in the village which is brilliant. When kids visit their grandparents, they like to come and play on the new equipment."

“We needed a heart of the village and bring back the feeling of community in Sunniside."

Claire Ritson said: “It’s an incredible community hear; I’ve lived in several villages and this is a great space which is really needed in this great community.”