A PLAY area in an East Lancashire town has been given a £45,000 makeover – but locals aren’t happy with it.

New equipment has been installed in Great Harwood's Lowerfold Park, as part of a wider renovation.

More than £45,000 has been invested in the play area with a contribution from the Lancashire Environmental Fund and a contribution from Hyndburn Council.

Lancashire Telegraph: The new Lowerfold Park play areaThe new Lowerfold Park play area

Cllr Miles Parkinson, leader of Hyndburn Council said: “The improvements include modern play equipment which was chosen by local children and families with favourites such as a basket swing, traditional swings, a large rotating unit, a modern climbing frame and also a see-saw suitable for a parent and child and designed to be inclusive for all.”

But after the council unveiled the new area on their Facebook page many local people expressed their dissatisfaction with the changes made, with some saying it is a “rip off” and other saying it is not suitable for disabled children.

Posting to Facebook, Laura Theaker said: “I’m sorry but the park is no better than what it was before- a total waste of public money.

“Ripped out a few old pieces and replaced with new crap ones and not even replaced the floor surface or the rotten wooden frames. Joke.”

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Laura said: “It is yet again more evidence of another underwhelming and poor ‘investment’ from Hyndburn Council into Great Harwood.

“Great Harwood has been neglected by the council for far too long.”

Nicola Stacey thinks the new park is “shocking”.

Her six-year-old son, Lennon Townsend, is a wheelchair user and she says the park isn’t as “inclusive” enough.

Lancashire Telegraph: Nicola Stacey's son, Lennon Townsend Nicola Stacey's son, Lennon Townsend

She said: “At the moment, families like mine who have children in wheelchairs have to travel to Burnley to use a park that our children can enjoy and use the play equipment.

“It’s 2022 at least one park in every borough should have something for our disabled children to enjoy.

“Our children have the same rights as any children to enjoy a park It’s not like we’ve asked the council to go out of their way to accommodate this and find extra funds - they were already doing the park up and had the funds there to use.

“I feel the biggest upset of it all is the fact they stated [a see-saw] is ‘inclusive for all’ when it isn’t. They have really shown that they have no idea what inclusive means.”

Another parent, Sarah Helliwell, said: "£45,000 and there are even less apparatus for the children to play on. I thought there might have been a few more as it is a very popular park.

“I am disappointed with the quality of play parks around Great Harwood. They have been left to fall into disrepair.”

Alison Tate added: “The proposed work on Lowerfold Park raised a lot of hopes, especially when the community were asked for their opinion.

“An inclusive playground was asked for as well as equipment for very young children.

“When we went to play on it a couple of weeks ago there was an air of 'is this it?!'

“It seems like the playground is aimed at children who have the strength, stamina and confidence to play on the equipment.

“Wheelchair users can't access the equipment easily, if at all. Children with disabilities enjoy playing on playgrounds too. If you get it right for them, you get it right for everyone.”

“It’s shocking,” said another disgruntled parent. “I thought we were getting a whole new park.

"No climbing frame for the under-fives - not even sure what that see-saw thing is all about.”

“Surely they can’t be finished,” said another.

But some people defended the park.

One person wrote: “I took kids up Sunday and it was packed and not one kid was complaining - they were having a blast.

“Let’s not moan ... kids are having fun, playing outside not stuck on iPads inside.”

Further improvements are underway in the park to ensure the park continues to respond to family needs, including improved access and refurbishment to the tennis courts with the addition of a new multi-purpose ball games court.

Hyndburn Council refused to comment.