Hamsterley games area plans are on the right track
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
PLANS drawn up by a community group to upgrade and resurface a dale village’s dilapidated tennis courts have received the backing of parish councillors.
Last year residents formed the Hamsterley Community Sports Association (HCSA) to look at converting little-used tennis courts that had fallen into disrepair into a vibrant multi-use games area (Muga) for all the community.
The group – Mike Thorne, Steph and Ronnie Maughan, Sue and Helen Kirby, Empy Iremonger, Suzy Hopper and Lucy Heintz – have been meeting regularly, via video technology, to further progress the plans for the space.
Ms Heintz, on behalf of the HCSA, said plans had been progressing well and fundraising for the project, which is estimated to cost about £70,000 already stands at more than £7,000.
The refurbished area would be marked out for tennis, hockey, netball, basketball and football and plans include creating a path along the verge out of the village.
She added: “We have the support of many community organisations which are currently active in the village including the school, who would love to use the Muga if we can provide safe access along the road to the court along the village green.
“We have included the creation of a pathway along the verge out of the village towards the Muga and are working on a design that would be suitable for all users, including equestrians and cyclists as well as pedestrians and dog walkers.”
Drawings and designs are being prepared for the work to obtain more accurate costings and to allow for applications for funding from Durham County Council and Sports England within the coming weeks.
A management plan has also been drawn up, with the support of the parish council, to ensure the Muga will be used responsibly and is maintained.
Ms Heintz said the group were grateful for all the support and encouragement they have received and added if anyone wishes to get involved, or contribute in any way they can email hamsterleyvillagesports firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a letter at Pond House Farm, Hamsterley.