THE first phase of improvements to a park are now complete and open to the public.

New play areas for toddlers, infants and children are now free to use at Saxons Lane, thanks to work by Cheshire West and Chester Council and two Northwich schools.

Hartford High School and Charles Darwin Primary School lent a hand to the first part of the long-term project, with children putting forward ideas on what improvements they would like to see.

The result is a range of new play facilities, with further phases starting later this year to include a multi-use games area (MUGA), skate area, jogging path, path connections, landscaping and playing pitch improvements.

Cllr Louise Gittins, CWAC cabinet member for communities and wellbeing, said: “The communities in the area now have a wonderful new play area.

"I would like to pass on my thanks to all of the project partners and funders who have made this initiative a reality.

"I’m sure this new facility will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in the area.

"I welcome the establishment of the Friends Group and I’m looking forward to the remaining two phases being completed in the coming months.”

The project has been brought to life through a successful partnership between CWAC, the WREN Community Action Fund, Veolia Environmental Trust, ward members for Hartford and Greenbank and Winnington and Castle, Northwich Town Council, Weaver Vale Housing Trust, and Tesco Bags of Help.

Richard Smith, senior grant manager for WREN, said: “It’s wonderful to see something we have funded finally open and ready to make such a difference to children and young people across Northwich.

"WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and this is a great example of what can be achieved.”

Paul Taylor, executive director of the Veolia Environmental Trust, added: “Since 2001 we have awarded over £1.4m to 59 projects in Cheshire.

"This play area is another example of how the Landfill Communities Fund can make a difference by providing a great public amenity that will be enjoyed for years to come.”