A much need play facility for young people in the Skerne Park area of Darlington has been handed over today (Friday 5 August).

As part of a pioneering community project the Coleridge Centre in Skerne Park area of town has seen an army of volunteers pull together to build a new playground in just four days.

The team of volunteers, including young people who are aiming to secure a qualification for a future with the British Army, joined forces with Darlington’s MP, Councillors and local community volunteers.

HandsOn, a national organisation which helps to deliver community learning projects began preparation work on Monday (8 August). The playground also features a learning area, updated green house, outdoor gym and raised planted areas.

The playground also includes a Community Tree. This tree holds leaves with the names of the businesses and the volunteers that supported on the project.

Darlington MP Peter Gibson who has been involved in the planning and development of this project said “Being here each day and seeing the efforts of the community has really made me proud to represent our amazing town. This is yet another fantastic community project that will bring a much-needed facility to the local community in Skerne Park.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to work with a number of local Darlington businesses to deliver this third project. I have been overwhelmed with the support from volunteers, who have helped to create this fantastic community facility, which I know will be a perfect addition to Skerne Park and will be well used by local people for years to come”.

The project is a collaboration between Peter Gibson MP, HandsOn, Darlington Borough Council, Redde Northgate, Hellens Group, Hummersknott Academy Trust and lots more generous organisations across Darlington.

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Leader of Darlington Borough Council said “You will always hear me talking about levelling up and building stronger communities. These are not just sound bites, they have meaning.

“I have seen first-hand the positive impact that these community projects make to people’s lives. I’m absolutely delighted that we have been able to work with the local community, businesses, and volunteers to deliver a much-needed community play area for Skerne Park. It has been absolutely inspired to share this journey with everyone involved”

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, Chief Executive of Hellens Group, said: “The new play facility is a fantastic initiative and will be a welcome asset to the local community in Skerne Park.

“As part of the business community in Darlington, we are delighted to have been given the opportunity to donate to the project and we’re excited to see the new play area in action when it’s completed.”

A spokesperson for Redde Northgate said “Having supported earlier projects, the team at Redde Northgate are once again delighted to support the build of the new play area in Skerne Park.

“Many of our team live and work around Darlington and this is a great way for us to give back to our local community. Projects like this make such a difference and seeing the joy when children first see their new space always inspires us to do more, so we’re once again really proud to be a part of such an important local initiative.”

Mallikarjun Erasu, General Manager at Amazon in Darlington, said: “We’re pleased to support Skerne Park Academy with this donation. The Coleridge Centre playground project will create a safe and enriching environment for local children to enjoy and we’re happy to support its construction with this donation”