A North East play park is set to undergo an extensive transformation to upgrade the existing play area.

Development work has begun on Romano Park in Ingleby Barwick which will see repairs and upgrades to the existing play area.

The site will also see the installation of a new ‘dragon fort’ following input from local schoolchildren.

A Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (SBC) spokesperson said this will help to create a "key visitor attraction" as part of the town’s leisure offer.

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Stockton South MP Matt Vickers said: “I’m glad to see that the planned improvements to Romano Park in Ingleby Barwick have finally begun.

“These works follow a public survey, which I carried out alongside local councillors, to understand the changes residents wanted to facilities and our precious green space.

“I’m hopeful that after securing government funding for the council to improve local park provisions, areas across Stockton will soon have safe and fun spaces for our young people to play.”

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Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing at SBC, said: “It’s great to see the plans for Romano Park become a reality to enable our young people and their families to get outside and enjoy the open space in a safe environment.

“I am really looking forward to seeing the work progress and in particular, improvement to make it a high-quality play area that will be another fantastic addition to the leisure offering in Ingleby Barwick.

“The existing park was looking tired and needed replacing so it’s great to see this to help add to the offering for locals and visitors alike.

“The town has benefitted from significant Council investment over the years such as the creation of the nearby IB Leisure Centre and the work to Romano Park is yet another development which will only enhance its offering.”

The project will include a community growing area as well as a planting scheme with trees, shrubs and benches also part of the overall improvements.

According to SBC, there will be better access to the platform near the Barwick Pond nature reserve and a re-marking of the Multi Use Games Area.

The growing area will allow direct access from All Saints Academy school for young people to enjoy as well as wider community groups.

The park will also include three new in-ground wheelchair-accessible trampolines, accessible features on the ‘dragon fort’ play item, and a new sensory trail with musical instruments.

The work will take place in two phases and is part of the Council’s town centres investment programme.

Improved signage, replacement litter bins, additional benches and CCTV cameras will also be installed.

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The improvements are a result of the 'Let's Talk About Our Towns' public consultation that took place in 2020.

The Council worked with pupils at Myton Park Primary School, St Therese Primary School and Winstone Primary School before deciding on the 'dragon fort' park.

Contractor BCE Northern Ltd have been appointed to carry out the works which are set to be finished in late Autumn.