CRAVEN’S first citizen formally opened the new children’s play area at Aireville Park, Skipton in front of friends and supporters.

Councillor Paul Whitaker, chairman of Craven District Council, was joined at the rain soaked ribbon cutting ceremony by Fiona Protheroe, chairperson of the Friends of Aireville Park.

“This is a fantastic new facility for the whole of Skipton and is six times bigger than the old play area, with 35 separate pieces of equipment, and is already proving to be extremely popular,” said Cllr Whitaker.

“Aireville Park is one of the biggest parks in Craven and although owned and managed by Craven District Council we have over the last few years worked very closely with the Friends of Aireville Park to both develop and deliver a master plan to improve the park.

“As well as the new play area, we also have the new skate park and pump track; brilliant new facilities all brought together in the same area of the park in what is a relatively short time frame.”

He added: “Without the huge amount of time and effort given by the Friends group in fundraising, holding events and helping to consult and shape the play area plans, we would not be standing here today.”

Ms Protheroe said: “We’re thrilled with the new playground and it’s brilliant to see so many children and families enjoying it every weekend and after school.

“We’d like to thank everyone who was involved in making this dream a reality – there have been so many generous grants and donations. It has been a fantastic community effort and we’ve now got an amazing playground which we hope will be enjoyed by families for years to come.”

Cllr Whitaker also thanked the 35 funders, sponsors and donors who made the new play area possible.