Facilities for young set to be improved

Young Mayor Rebecca Leighton with Mayor Linda Arkley at the opening of Richardson Dees Playsite.
Young Mayor Rebecca Leighton with Mayor Linda Arkley at the opening of Richardson Dees Playsite.

MORE things to do for young people could be on the way in the borough.

North Tyneside Council has been asking teenagers and younger children what they think of the borough’s current facilities and what else they would like to see, and the findings of its study have now been revealed.

Mayor Linda Arkley has pledged to look at facilities and activities for young people in the borough now the council’s overview and scrutiny committee has been given youngsters’ views about what is on offer and what could be improved.

The committee was told that the current provision in the borough is good, but there is room for improvement.

Ideas put forward for possible improvements, including making town centres more young person-friendly, increasing access to skateparks and using new media more.

Mrs Arkley said: “We already have excellent facilities and services for young people, and more young people than ever are accessing and using sport, leisure and cultural facilities and services either provided by the council or on behalf of the council.

“It is clear that we still have some work to do in looking at the spread of facilities and opportunities across the borough.

“We’ll also be looking at how we can make the best use of new media and communication techniques that we know accord with young people.”

North Tyneside young mayor Rebecca Leighton added: “There are lots of great things for children and young people to do in North Tyneside, and I can see that things are getting better – for example, we now have play sites and skateparks that we didn’t have two years ago.

“I think it’s good that the council has been talking to young people about improving things even further.”

Over the last two years, more than 8,000 young people have attended skatepark and BMX events and activities, and 25 per cent more young people with disabilities took part in organised sporting activities than was previously the case.

More than £2m has been spent on providing new facilities including skateparks at Howdon and the Parks Sports Centre in North Shields and play sites at Station Road in Wallsend and Hill Top Millennium Green in North Shields, a water park at Whitley Bay and Shiremoor’s adventure playground, as well as the largest play park in the borough at Richardson Dees Park in Wallsend.

In addition, around £13m has been spent on improving existing facilities, including Wallsend’s Hadrian Leisure Centre, East Palmersville Sports Pavilion and the Parks Sports Centre’s gym and outdoor football pitches.