A SCHEME to provide better and safer play opportunities for youngsters in deprived areas has been boosted by £60,000.

Play Opportunity Works (Pow), was set up for children aged from five to 16 living in the 12 former coalfield areas of Durham City, which form part of Durham City Council's Single Regeneration Budget Round Six (SRB6).

Now the council's SRB6 team has been awarded £60,000 towards the project from Better Play, a National Lottery-funded partnership between Barnardo's and the Children's Play Council.

Youngsters involved in Pow will be able to decide what they would like to do and where.

This could include things like organising a game of rounders on a summer evening or a PlayStation tournament between different villages.

Thanks to the funding, the project will be able to employ a new full-time worker and a number of sessional workers.

It will begin this spring and will run for two years, and if successful, it is hoped that it can be rolled out across the district.

Glen Duckett, from the council's SRB6 community team, said: "Pow was developed to help local youngsters who told us they were fed up of there not being anything for them to do after school and in the holidays.

"The thing about this project is that the kids will be involved from the start and will help the workers organise a wide range of activities.

"Activities will make good use of local parks and community buildings and, hopefully, help to improve these too."

The scheme will operate in the villages of Bearpark, Bowburn, Brandon, Cassop, Esh Winning, Kelloe, Ludworth, New Brancepeth, Quarrington Hill, Sherburn Hill, Ushaw Moor and West Rainton.

For more details, contact Mr Duckett on 0191-301 8753.