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Sheffield community rejoices as playground opens again

Akeel Khan and the Pitsmoor community were celebrationg on Saturday when the Pitsmoor Adventure Playground was reopened.

Akeel Khan and the Pitsmoor community were celebrationg on Saturday when the Pitsmoor Adventure Playground was reopened.

Christmas has come early for a Sheffield community who fought to save their playground from closure.

Families rejoiced as Pitsmoor Adventure Playground was re-opened in time for the school holidays, after a user-group agreed to take over the running of the facility.

The laughter of children could be heard ringing out through the play area in Melrose Road on Saturday following a three-month silence.

A Christmas party was held to mark the success of a campaign from Pitsmoor Adventure Playground Group and local schoolboy Akeel Khan.

Before then the playground had seen its hours reduce to nine per week and was subjected to constant closures - the latest of which saw gates locked in late October - due to Sheffield Council budget cuts.

Members of the group will take over from early next year.

In the meantime, the council has promised to keep its side of the bargain by carrying out much-needed improvements to fix swings and clean out the sandpit at the site.

Yanina Koszalinski, of the Friends, said: “We started out as a user group and never really intended to take it over, but we think this is the best way to ensure its future.

“It is not just the people of Pitsmoor who use it, there are people who bring their children from other areas.

“We’ve found funding to get the playground open nine hours a week until the end of the year and the council are going to be helping us too.

“It’s early days, we have just been concentrating on getting it open for Christmas.

“Looking to the future we want it open for longer hours and for it to be much more of a community space.”

Fir Vale pupil Akeel, aged 12, has been credited with helping to heap pressure on council bosses.

He said: “This playground is so important to children in the area. We deserve to be able to come and play and enjoy it. We want to have bake sales and events like the Christmas party.”

Coun Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for sport, said: “We are delighted that the Pitsmoor Adventure Playground Group has stepped in to take over the running of Pitsmoor Adventure Playground.

“We’ve agreed to a full transfer which will take place in March.

“I am really pleased that the playground is open for the holidays.”

 

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