New-look playground in Newport opened

A WELL-USED playground in Newport, created in memory of a tragic youngster, has been given a new lease of life.

A WELL-USED playground in Newport, created in memory of a tragic youngster, has been given a new lease of life.

The original play equipment at the Diana Sell Memorial Playground – installed by the people of Newport and The Gaces Charity Trust as a living memorial to Diana Sell, who died in 1992 – had become dated.

Now it has been given a long-awaited makeover after the village’s playground committee received grants from the Big Lottery Fund and Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund.

To celebrate the official opening of the new facilities, children and parents enjoyed a teddy bear’s picnic and an opportunity to try out the new equipment on Tuesday.

Parish councillor Lindsay Baillie has been the driving force behind the getting the project completed.

She said: “A lot of surrounding villages have been getting new equipment but our playground had become a bit sad-looking.

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“It has taken about a year to get all the funding and we are so pleased with the help we have had. We’re delighted with the outcome.”

The equipment at the new-look playground was chosen in consultation with parents and according to the results of a Year Six research project at Newport Primary which asked to find out what kinds of play equipment children at the school enjoyed using.

Improvements to the �38,000 facility include a zip wire, roundabout and spinner, as well as swings and a climbing frame.

Newport Parish Council paid for an adventure trail and new fencing.

“The equipment that was here was suitable for younger children but there was a gap for children aged 10 to 14,” said Cllr Baillie.

“It was important to broaden the use of the park and we feel this new playground adds that element. It is much more interactive.

“A lot of bigger children need somewhere to go. We are also looking into a second recreational space such as a BMX or skate park.”

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