New Outdoor Play Area for Woodhorn Museum

Woodhorn Charitable Trust is celebrating the news that it has received a £49,918.00 funding boost from SITA Trust for the creation of an outdoor children’s play area at Woodhorn Museum in Ashington.

Woodhorn is a popular destination for families with interactives throughout the permanent displays, a programme of family learning and craft activities complementing special events and temporary exhibitions, family guided tours as well as a narrow gauge railway which runs through the park operated by volunteers. It has long been recognised however that an outdoor play area where families can enjoy the open space and children let off steam, would be a huge bonus to the museum, complementing the existing facilities and offering a new amenity to the local community in addition to museum visitors.

Jo Raw, Acting Director of Woodhorn, welcomed the news of the award. “Being able to provide an exciting new play facility for young visitors will be beneficial across the board.

“With the facilities, families will be able to stay for longer, enjoy a greater level of satisfaction and perhaps be likely to make more repeat visits. New audiences will be attracted to visit too knowing that there are specific facilities to entertain the children. Spending time in the open will encourage people to appreciate the physical structures on the site and the historic environment. The play space will add so much to the overall family experience all year round.”

Marianne Ivin of SITA Trust added “The play area will be a great addition to the museum and will provide an appealing area where the children can continue their learning whilst also having fun. The playground will no doubt help boost visitor numbers to the cafe and will also be accessible to local families. SITA Trust provides grants through the Landfill Communities Fund. This important source of funding has been available since 1997 and has provided such worthy projects with more than £1.4 billion.”

Additional funds to make the play area possible at Woodhorn have been made available by three of the area’s councillors. Northumberland County Councillors Jeff Gobin, Ken Parry and Val Tyler have all helped through their small schemes grants. Funding has also come from Section 106 Housing Developer Funds.

It is hoped that the new play facilities will be in place by the end of July.