A BRAND new play area at Arrow Valley Country Park could be open within in a week - but this depends on Redditch's Covid-19 infection rate.

Plans for the ambitious new play area, which features a huge nine-metre slide, toddler area, zip wire, and trampolines, were first announced in October last year.

Work on the park is now complete, however councillor Mike Rouse, deputy leader and leisure portfolio holder for Redditch Borough Council, has said that opening it could create a "tricky balancing act" due to the town's high coronavirus rate.

Despite this, he says the council remains "keen and hopeful" the play area will be open within the next seven days.

New Arrow Valley Country Park play area in Redditch

New Arrow Valley Country Park play area in Redditch

He told the Advertiser: "The restrictions are easing but the rate remains so high. As soon as we open a new playground that will lead to crowds.

"We are trying to balance everything. Every we look at comes at a cost.

"We are on target to open it just before or at the start of the Easter holidays. It depends on there being no spike in infections.

"We are really conscious of the impact of this pandemic of young children. We want this play area open."

New Arrow Valley Country Park play area in Redditch

New Arrow Valley Country Park play area in Redditch

According to the latest Covid-19 data in Redditch, in the week leading up to March 23, the infection rate was 131.4 per 100,000 people.

Councillor Rouse also said the playground has been the target of vandalism during lockdown, and a feature of the park had to be replaced due to damage.

The work, which cost over £300k of earmarked money, was designed by Kompan with the aim of bringing families closer to nature with an Arrow Valley wildlife themed play park.

The new park includes a toddler area, zip wire, trampolines, a number of accessible and inclusive pieces of equipment for both wheelchair users and autistic visitors, redesigned pedestrian routes and reimagined adult seating.

Back in October it was also announced that Kompan will be developing a small amphitheatre with tiered seating, to improve the general open space, which can be used for outdoor or street theatre, entertainment, live music, group yoga or exercise sessions.

There will also be several new benches placed around the area so that families can make use of the space for picnics.