LIFE-saving equipment is now on hand at a popular park, thanks to combined funding efforts.

Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street is a hub of activity from organised runs and bowling, to its busy splash pad and play areas. It is also a popular place for dog walkers and families.

The park is now equipped with a life-saving defibrillator, located on the exterior wall of the café, increasing the safety of park users.

To pay for the £2,100 defibrillator Durham county councillors Beaty Bainbridge, Alison Batey, Linda Marshall, Craig Martin, Tracie Smith and Danny Wood contributed through combined money from their neighbourhood budgets. Match funding was committed from the council's culture and sport team.

Friends of Riverside Park, supported by Chester-le-Street and District Area Action Partnership (AAP), will now work with the culture and sport team to maintain the defibrillator and carry out regular health checks to ensure it is kept in working order.

Allyson Rose, project officer with Chester-le-Street and District AAP, said: “The installation of this defibrillator is going to be a huge benefit to the many users of this park. We really need it because the footfall here is so high. Every week hundreds of runners use the park and in the summer months the play areas are very busy, so the public really wanted this. Hopefully we won’t ever need to use it but it’s nice to know it’s there.”