Four Housing to review future of Westfield Park

A Berwick play park which was threatened with closure has been given a temporary reprieve.

Thursday, 17th November 2016, 10:00 am
Westfield Park

Four Housing had said it would remove the Westfield play area before the end of the financial year unless a new organisation came forward to take responsibility for it.

However, the social-housing provider has now agreed to review the situation and continue to maintain the park until spring 2018.

Bernie Hogg, head of housing at Four Housing, said: “Four Housing has recently become part of the Bernicia Group and, as part of this, Bernicia is undertaking an assessment of all our assets, including the Westfield play area.

“After careful consideration, Bernicia will continue to maintain and insure the play equipment until April 2018, when the review will be completed.

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“We’d like to reassure the community that any further decisions to be made about the future of Westfield play area will be made following full consultation with the local community and stakeholders.”

Discussions have been taking place with Berwick Town Council in recent weeks to try to find a solution.

The council is keen to ensure the play park stays, seeing it as an important facility for children in the wider Highfields area.

However, councillors had been unhappy with the terms of the lease deal originally put on the table by Four Housing, feeling a freehold deal was preferable.

Meanwhile, a petition calling for the play park to be saved has gathered more than 100 signatures and will be handed to the council.

The petition, created by nursery leader Tracy Duffy, states: ‘Our children deserve a play park in their community to play in safely. Streets and car parks are not safe nor inviting. Our park is important for our children’s physical and social development. Our children and our families spend quality time together in our park. Our park is part of our families treasured memories of fun.’