FAMILIES visiting Mary Stevens Park this summer will have a ‘splashing’ time after plans for a new water play facility were unveiled.

Last year, Dudley Council undertook a programme of improvements at the Norton park following a successful application for £2.6m of Heritage Lottery Fund money.

Savings made throughout the project are now being used to buy the new equipment, with the authority announcing that work will get underway at the beginning of May, with the existing splash play area, which has been on site for 18 years, being removed.

The new facility is expected to be finished in July with the main area to include water jets, cannons, a spray loop and a flower water feature. A toddler area with water jets and a smaller water feature will also be installed.

Alan Lunt, the council’s strategic director for place, said: “This work was not part of the original Heritage Lottery Fund restoration programme, but families have told us that they would like to see this improvement and the savings made mean we are now able to include it.

“We are confident that this feature will be particularly popular with families visiting the park during the warmer months of the year.”

The water play area is expected to cost £140,000 and will benefit from fresh rubber surfacing and a new control box with state-of-the-art pumps, which will reduce water waste and operational costs.