CHILDREN have celebrated the official opening of their new adventure playground.

North Durham MP Kevan Jones opened the £62,000 play facility in Sacriston Academy, near Chester-le-Street. It features wooden climbing and play equipment and a brand new MUGA sports pitch.

The playground is part of ongoing improvements being made to the school by sponsors the North East Learning Trust. Other visible changes have included a new reception area, IT upgrades, a new school uniform, redecoration throughout the school, and a new school website.

To make way for the playground, an un-used building was demolished over the summer opening up the outdoor space and bridging the two sides of the school.

Mr Jones said: “I was delighted to visit Sacriston Academy, and open the new playground. It is a fantastic facility, which will be enjoyed by local children for many years to come.

“Being physically active is so important for all of us, and it was great to see the children’s excitement at using the new equipment.”

Annalei Inkster, headteacher at Sacriston Academy said: “Children are meant to play and I am proud that we have built something that will help them play happily for years to come. This is the kind of playground children dream of and it’s right here in Sacriston.”

Lesley Powell, chief executive of the North East Learning Trust added: “The outdoor space at Sacriston was not fit for purpose with the old building disrupting the flow of the school and hampering improvements.

“I am proud that the Trust and school have worked so successfully together to solve this problem and have given the children of Sacriston the outstanding outdoor play and learning facilities they deserve.”