Parks and playgrounds boost hope for former Doncaster pit village

Bentley Park
Bentley Park
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Youngsters in a former Doncaster mining village could be set for a boost for their parks, playgrounds and sports facilities.

Bentley Park, which re-opened after a major £2.5 million redevelopment in 2014, could soon see a boost to its play equipment for children, and community leaders are hoping it may be awarded 'green flag' status following its improvements.

Samantha Thorpe-Aiken with daughter Lola, two, and Erica Ottwell with son Jenson , two; at Bentley Park

Samantha Thorpe-Aiken with daughter Lola, two, and Erica Ottwell with son Jenson , two; at Bentley Park

And there are also hopes that a funding stream may mean new changing rooms can be built on the Bentley Miners Welfare football pitches.

The proposed schemes come hot-on-the-heels of another two children's play area projects in Bentley which have recently been completed.

Bentley Park has recently had an inspection under the 'green flag' scheme, and a verdict is expected in the next few weeks. The award is handed to groups to recognise well kept and well maintained parks.

Community leaders are hoping to see new water play equipment installed in the park, and are looking at possible cash from developers, paid to communities as part of planning permission agreements, as possible funding.

Bentley Park

Bentley Park

It would add to existing water equipment that has already been put in place for children to play with during hot weather.

There are also hopes that the same funding streams cold provide the final piece of the jigsaw in plans for new changing rooms at Bentley Miners Welfare, a site used by the Bentley Colliery teams and by several junior clubs.

The bulk of the cash needed has already been pledged through an FA scheme.

Charlie Hogarth, one of Bentley's Doncaster ward councillors, said: "The water play equipment has been very popular, and we are looking to put some more in there at Bentley Park. We're also looking at getting some specialist play equipment for disabled children.

"The water play area is so popular with the children.

"The park has been so much improved since the refurbishments."

Families in Bentley Park this week agreed it had improved significantly in recent years, and their own views of what they would like to see there..

Erica Ottewell, aged 37, of Bentley was there with son Jenson, two, She said: "I think it's lacking a splash area for the children, and maybe a sandpit, but the improvements here are good."

Samantha Thorpe-Aiken, of Scawthorpe, visiting the park with daughter Lola, two, said: "We go to Clifton Park in Rotherham a lot and they have quite a nice sandpit. I think that and a splash area would be good.

"But I think Bentley Park has improved loads, and the grounds are well kept."

The improvements in 2014 included closed circuit television to stop nuisance behaviour.

The plans are the latest boost for youngsters.

Work was recently completed on two play areas around The Avenue - one a grass and concreted area near the miners welfare, and the other a park with play equipment between Bentley New Village Primary School and the miners welfare.