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New Manor play area exercises bodies and brains

A new style of play area - the first of its kind in Fenland - has been opened at the Manor Centre in Whittlesey, just in time for the summer holiday.

Manor Play Area

It includes three pieces of electronic play equipment that combine computer gaming with physical exercise.

Called Space, Nova and Rocky, they enable individuals and teams to join in up to 10 games. The area also includes a cable zip wire, swings, climbing wall and ladder, as well as picnic benches and other seats. It is fenced in and monitored by CCTV.

Councillor Peter Murphy, Fenland District Council's Cabinet member responsible for the environment and opens paces, was joined at this month's official opening by other district and town councillors, local parents and children and two Anglia In Bloom judges.

He said: "I'd like to thank the very many people have helped to create this exciting new play area. It is the only one of its kind in Fenland and the equipment is fantastic: there's something here for everyone and it's particularly good for some of the older youngsters. I'm sure it will be extremely well used."

Former district councillor Gary Swan is one of those who has been pressing for a new play area in Whittlesey for some time. He tried out some of the new equipment with Jess Lockhart, duty manager at the Manor.

He said: "This is completely different to the sort of thing we have elsewhere and that's great. You have to work hard on it and it's also a lot of fun and that's exactly what you need. So I'm delighted to see it here."

The area is already proving popular. It was packed on the first weekend after the opening.

Funding for the £103,000 scheme has come from various sources. Fenland District Council has put in £20,000 of capital funding, with a further £28,000 coming from Section 106 contributions, and Whittlesey Town Council has provided £10,000.

The remaining £45,000 has come from WREN, a not-for-profit business which awards grants under the Landfill Communities Fund, who administer the donations from landfill operator FCC Environment.