Parks, playgrounds and sporting fields across Newcastle are set for a transformation following an increase in demand for local spaces to exercise or play with the kids during the pandemic.
City of Newcastle will spend $8.2 million across a number of projects to prioritise new infrastructure as part of its response to the devastating impact of COVID-19, with a record $116 million capital works program.
“Our neighbourhood parks and open spaces are vital city infrastructure, and during the past five years we have delivered approximately $6.5 million in new and upgraded playgrounds across our city and suburbs, including the new Brickworks Park and Carrington Street Reserve playgrounds in Wallsend,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“In 2020/21 we will continue this investment in locations such as Novocastrian Park in New Lambton, Gross Street Reserve at Tighes Hill, King Edward Park in Cooks Hill and Dangar Park in Mayfield.”
The council are also planning a new active hub in Wallsend and completing significant upgrades to Stevenson Park in Mayfield West.
Each year, up to four of Newcastle’s 117 playgrounds are replaced as part of the City’s asset renewal works program.
Work on the just completed playground at Brickworks Park in Wallsend included a new all-abilities carousel, boulder climb, nest swing, rope ladder, slide and more, while the Carrington Street Reserve playground has been upgraded to include a new plank walk, suspension bridge, double slide, tube net and other activities.
“Local communities love their local playgrounds, and they’re often a neighbourhood hub for residents to meet and come together,” Cr Nelmes said.
“This was especially noticeable under the COVID-19 restrictions, which challenged us as a community to look closer to home for exercise and recreation.
“Our playground renewal program is a great example of how City of Newcastle goes far beyond the traditional services of ‘roads, rates and rubbish’ to create a fantastic place to live, promote a healthy economy and build our community.”