Youngsters in Uppingham are full of smiles now that the gates to a revamped playarea have been officially opened.
A range of new equipment has been installed at the area in Elizabeth Way, thanks to the work of Rutland County Council and a £25,000 grant.
The funding from Waste Recycling Environmental, which is known as Wren, enabled the council to install equipment including climbing frames, swings and interactive games, and picnic tables and benches.
The playarea is now family-friendly with a new fence and secure gate.
The final design and colour scheme was chosen by the student council at Uppingham CE Primary School.
Rutland County Council leader Roger Begy and Uppingham mayor David Casewell cut the ribbon at a ceremony on Monday before pupils at the school rushed through the gates to test out the new equipment.
Coun Casewell said: “I’m delighted to see this investment in the young people of the Beeches in Uppingham.
“The playarea is a decided improvement on what was there before, and I’m sure it will be in high demand.
“I’m very keen on the aspect of challenge and hopefully this playarea will encourage children to get out and get active.”
The work was carried out by Wicksteed Playscapes, a Kettering-based company that specialises in making children’s creative outdoor play equipment.
Five pupils from Uppingham Primary School were allowed to take a break from lessons to attend the opening ceremony on Monday.
Having seen the designs on paper, they were delighted to see the final outcome.
Nine-year-old Josh Bryan said: “It’s very colourful and much prettier. It’s been improved a lot.”
Peter Lisher, 11, said: “There’s lots of bright colours and it looks a lot safer.”
Emmy Russell, 10, added: “It looks good and there’s lots to do for kids of all ages.
“It’s a really good improvement.”
Uppingham Primary School head Ian Peden said: “Obviously it’s vital that people who are going to use any facilities have an input into the design. The chance to contribute to the Elizabeth Way play area in Uppingham was a great one for our children; the chance to discuss what they wanted compared to the space and budgets available was a very valuable maths, discussion and team work opportunity which they took to with a will.
“I know they are all excited and looking forward to using what they helped design.”
County council leader Roger Begy Coun Begy said the project was a really good example of the council working in partnership with the Uppingham community.
“The original playarea had become rather tired and was not being used as much as it could be,” he said.
“The council worked closely with the local community to put a bid together which was successful.
“We are delighted with the end result and hope local families are equally pleased.”
The funding was provided by Wren, a non-profit making Environmental Body registered to help benefit the lives of people who live close to landfill sites by awarding grants for community, conservation and heritage projects.
For more information, visit www.wren.org.uk