VOLUNTEERS in a village with a “sparse” playground have teamed up to help fundraise for better play facilities.

Hurworth Grange’s playground has been well maintained by the parish council but in recent years it has seen several pieces of equipment removed due to health and safety concerns.

Now a group of volunteers has started a project to improve the play facilities at the Grange, which is the only public playground in the village.

Due to the cost of play equipment and in the face of council cuts, the volunteers are preparing to apply for grants rather than wait for Darlington Borough Council funding to become available.

Volunteer and Hurworth Parish Councillor Bree Stamp said: “In order to do this, we needed to gather information from the residents of Hurworth and surrounding areas about what facilities they would ideally like to see up there.

“We are going to close the online survey next week and we would like to see as many people as possible to participate.”

She said while the council had invested money in the play park, with new surface put in, and it had been maintained well, there was a need for more equipment there.

“They have had some items taken away for health and safety reasons, like a wooden frame you could walk across, and hanging bars.

“I understand that they had to be taken away because of safety, but the issue is it is expensive to replace them and the more items that go, the more sparse the playground is looking.

“It is a lovely playground and everyone enjoys it but when you go to Scorton and Barton you realise how much more we could have, as they have really good new playgrounds.

“The borough council has been really helpful and given us loads of places to go to ask for grants and funding, but we needed to find out what kind of playground everyone wants.”

The survey will be open for another few days and is available by visiting the Hurworth Parks and Rec Facebook page.

Volunteers are also asking for help from local businesses who might want to fundraise for the new

playground or provide funds towards it.

Once the survey is closed the volunteers will start applying for grants and hope to get match funding once those are in place.

Anyone wanting to get involved in the survey should visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk where you will find a number of questions to assess residents's requests for the park improvements.