The long-awaited £350,000 total refurbishment of two play areas at Blackburn’s flagship Witton Park is finally complete.

The makeover was originally promised to be ready for last summer but they finally opened at the weekend.

The cost - the most that Blackburn with Darwen Council has ever spent on upgrading play facilities - comes from payments from developers Barratt Homes and Taylor Wimpey as part of their planning permission agreements for new homes off Brokenstone Road.

The Wits – the larger of the playgrounds – has been completely overhauled with new equipment including swings, slides and climbing frames, plus a bespoke ‘Weavers’ play tower with four storeys and three slides.

Lancashire Telegraph: Phil Riley, Quesir Mahmood and Jim Smith at the parkPhil Riley, Quesir Mahmood and Jim Smith at the park

The smaller playground has also had a full makeover, incorporating accessible equipment, and a new gate links to the popular bike track.

They were both packed at the weekend with hundreds of families enjoying the refurbished play areas.

And now council leader Cllr Phil Riley, borough growth boss Cllr Quesir Mahmood, and the authority's environment chief Cllr Jim Smith have visited to see the work for themselves.

Their completion follows Go Ape opening its treetop adventure centre at the 480-acre country park in July 2023.

Cllr Mahmood said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to officially unveil the new playgrounds at Witton Park.

“Thanks to funding from new homes that have been built in the area, we’ve been able to invest more in these two playgrounds than we’ve ever been able to do before.

“We know that our parks and playgrounds are a priority for our residents and it’s brilliant that we’ve been able to completely transform these to be enjoyed by children and youngsters from right across the borough and wider.

“The feedback has already been fantastic, and we look forward to more people visiting over the coming weeks and months, making a day of it and enjoying all that Witton Park has to offer.

“Building good quality, new homes is really important for our residents and the future of our borough too.

“As a council, we pride ourselves in working hard to make every single penny count, making sure what we do makes a difference, and this is a fantastic example of that.

“In our latest budget the council has also committed a further £350,000 for the refurbishment of playgrounds over the next three years."