A CAMPAIGN to raise more than £90,000 to revamp a neglected play area moves a step closer.

For the past 18 months, Rising Bridge Community Association and Proffitt’s Investing in Communities have been working together to improve the community play area.

The two groups have been trying to raise £94,000 to replace ‘rusty’ equipment and improve the facilities at the Rising Bridge Play Area.

Director of Proffitt’s Investing in Communities, Martin Proffitt, said: “The play area is very important to the community. We are looking to remove all the old equipment and replace it with better pieces. At the moment it’s not a place you would want to take your children or visit as a family.”

The 100 sq. metre space has been a community play area, on Roundhill Road, for more than 25 years and includes wooden posts, chains, rusty bins and swings.

If enough funds are raised, it is hoped new equipment can be purchased for the play area, including swings, a roundabout and a new climbing frame.

Plans are also in place to improve the drainage area, purchase new goalposts and improve the muddy footpath, which is used to access the site.

Lisa Bloor, of Rising Bridge Community Association, said: “We will do our utmost to reflect what the community wants and needs.

“Users of the park say improvements could be items such as a better play area, better drainage to allow ball games to take place and better access. We will try our hardest to tap into any funding available and make this happen.”

So far, the campaigners have received support from Haslingden’s Winfield Outdoors and Rossendale Council, with benches, bins and cash donated by the local authority. Thousands of pounds have been raised so far but Mr Proffitt said the project is still well short of the £94,000 benchmark.

The 42-year-old, from Ramsbottom, added: “So far we have raised just £10,000 and have entered bids for around £55,000.

“We are quietly confident our bids will be successful but we have a shortfall. We’re asking local businesses to help us. If you are a business in Rising Bridge, Baxenden or Haslingden with a good social conscience please make contact with us.”

Visit proffittscic.com/community-projects/rising-bridge-play-area/