CHILDREN in Sparsholt are having a ball after the refurbishment of their much-loved playground.

After receiving an Active Communities grant of £1,440 from Winchester City Council, the Sparsholt Playground Association set about installing a basketball backboard, replacement pod swing and spring, and new tarmac surfacing.

Since it was built in 1998 the play area on the village green in the middle of Woodman Close has been used by countless families.

Wendy Dean, one of the co-founders of the playground association, said: “Sixteen years ago I moved into the village of Sparsholt and found the children in great need of something to occupy their time.

“We are a rural village and some families do not have transport of their own and rely on buses for days out so if we can provide a place where all families from the village can meet up and socialise then it is a very important asset to keep going.

“Our playground now has three new pieces of equipment to replace the old worn out kit and we will be applying again in the future to keep this valuable amenity going.”

Cllr Keith Wood, leader of Winchester City Council and ward member for Sparsholt, said: “As leader of the council I deal with many major projects, but this grant in my own area is a reminder of the value the city council can add by supporting truly local schemes that are so important for communities.”