CHILDREN have had the chance to explore their new global village playground following a community project.

Volunteers spent the last week of the school term building a new playground at Corporation Road School in Darlington.

Headteacher Ann Pringleton said: "It's even better than I thought it would be. It's absolutely amazing.

"It's a huge legacy for the community because it does belong to the community.

"We've got a global village and it doesn't get any better than that."

The playground, which has been in planning for three months, was inspired by the school's diversity and features structures based on well-known buildings from across the world.

From the leaning tower of Pisa, in Italy, to Lalbagh Fort Mosque in Bangladesh and a steam train from the UK, about a dozen countries are represented in the playground, also including Iraq, Iran, the Netherlands, Poland, Ghana, Portugal, Syria, Romania and Kazakhstan.

The Northern Echo:

Volunteers from YH Training Services, who are doing training to help them enter the armed forces, were among those building the play equipment.

It was run by Splash Project and was supported by Darlington MP Peter Gibson and Darlington Borough Council.

Mrs Pringleton added: "The people we've worked with are great and the quality is fantastic.

"Our children deserve this. They are so excited.

"It's been a really tough year for everyone; for the children and parents and staff so this is an amazing enf to the year.

"The Splash Project team was amazing and Peter Gibson has been really supportive, as well as the Lingfield Trust."

Mr Gibson, who got hands on with the project, said: "The excitement on these children's faces and the joy – that's why we go into politics.

"It's fantastic."

The Northern Echo:

Project manager Lee Randall, from the Splash Project, said: "This week has been great. We don't always have volunteers but these people have been giving up their time and have been very hardworking.

"We've had different organisations and the military preparation course, the MP and his office – they have all come together as as team and delivered something pretty amazing.

"There's always a huge element of risk with delivery but we made it and I'm proud of the outcome."

Jonathan Dulston, Deputy Leader of Darlington Borough Council said "The Northgate area of Darlington is going through a period of significant transformation. It’s been fantastic to be here helping to build the playground, I know the young people helping on this project will have made a lasting difference not only to their own personal development, but will have supported other young people’s future development too.”

Pupils also celebrated with a cake donated by nearby Sweet Escape.

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