Christmas has come early for children in Sandwell thanks to a new £100,000 play area with lots of new equipment in historic Lightwoods Park. The play area features a giant two-tower climbing wall guaranteed to give youngsters fun during the school holidays. Schoolchildren from Abbey Junior School, local councillors, council parks officers and representatives from Heritage Building and Conservation Ltd attended the launch.

Councillor Steve Eling, deputy council leader, said: “The first phase of this restoration project has opened just in time for the school holidays. I’m sure a lot of children will make the most of this early Christmas present. We are looking forward to the completion of the house and park next year which will bring both back to their former glory.”  

It is the first part of the Lightwoods House and Park restoration that has been completed and has been installed by Blakedown Landscapes, a sub-contractor to the main contractor Heritage Building and Conservation Ltd.

Lightwoods House and Park is currently undergoing a £5 million restoration project funded through Sandwell Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund, under the Parks for People scheme.

Once completed, the once-derelict Grade II listed Lightwoods House will have a café, office accommodation, gallery and grand room that will host weddings and lots of other events and activities. 

The project will also see the creation of a new pond, the restoration of two drinking fountains and the bandstand, new pathways and a complete restoration of the Shakespeare Gardens. The project is set for completion by September 2016.