RESIDENTS in Accrington are celebrating after the opening of a £74,000 play area.

Dozens of people gathered at the space-themed play park in Exch-ange Street yesterday for the official launch day.

Mayor of Hyndburn Coun Col-ette McCormack cut the ribbon and there were performances by Springhill Morris Dancers and young persons dance choir Skoot, from Oswaldtwistle, as well as an Easter egg hunt.

Residents in the Springhill area have been awaiting the opening of the park for eight years, when plans were originally submitted.

The project has been part funded through the Big lottery Fund, Community Spaces Program and by Hyndburn Council, in partnership with Spring Hill Community Network. The park caters for children aged four to 12 and features a slide, swings, climbing frames and space themed roundabouts.

Diane Fielding, chair of the Springhill Network Group, said: “After extensive consultation with young people a space theme was chosen and a design brief was prepared to meet the needs of the local children. The area has been desperately in need of something to keep children occupied as there are hardly any activities available for them. So far all the feedback has been extremely positive.”

Mum-of-four Michelle Ancers, 39 of Higher Antley Street said: “ The park is fantastic. The children love it and the space theme seems very popular — my children want to come and play here all day.

“There is nothing for children to do around here. We have waited for a new play area for a long time and everyone seems to be thrilled that it is now open. Now the park is here we just hope that it is well maintained and doesn’t become a target for vandals.”

Mum-of-one Rose Cougill, 16 from the Springhill area said: “The park is great, I wish there had been something like this when I was younger..”