Chester-le-Street Heritage Group

Riverside Park - Gets a New “Splash Pad”.

The Paddling Pool in Chester-le-Street’s Riverside Park has undergone major renovation costing £250,000.

The original paddling pool was a popular feature within the park and became very busy particularly during the summer months.

Unfortunately, the pool was at the end of its useful life although the Council had made repairs to try and keep it open, but these repairs weren’t sufficient, so it was considered that it was now time to completely overhaul the site and offer the latest in the way of “water play”.

Funding of £250,000 was agreed by the Council to pay for a “Splash Pad” which would incorporate interactive water features offering a new attraction to the park.

Councillor Maria Plews said "The paddling pool is a very popular feature in the park and we will be investing a considerable amount of money to improve the facility for families to use and we hope this will also attract new visitors to Chester-le-Street throughout the summer months."

Councillor Tracie Smith, Chair of Chester- le-Street and District Area Action Partnership (AAP), said: "I am delighted this investment is going into the park and the AAP are in the process of setting up a 'Friends' group to work with the council to develop the park in the future."

The work began in April 2015, and the “Splash Pad” opened to the public on the 14th August, just in time for the schools summer holidays.

The Splash Pad will be open daily from 11am to 6pm until the end of September (weather permitting) and tickets need to be obtained from the Splash Pad main gate with time slots available on the hour for 45 minute sessions.

The new “Splash Pad” was officially opened by Councillor Jan Blakey, Chairman of Durham County Council at 11am on Friday 28th August, 2015.


Workmen repairing the old paddling pool in an effort to keep it open, but it was time to renovate and bring it up to date.

The old paddling pool being dismantled in May this year.

Two views of the original paddling pool which many Cestrian’s will recall going back to the 1950s.

The water in the pool came directly from the river and often you could see fish (Stickle Backs) and frogs swimming in the pool.

Councillors Jan Blakey & Tracie Smith unveiling the  “Splash Pad” commemorative Plaque.

A view of the new “Splash Pad”

Children enjoying the Punch & Judy Show

Catherine Button and Dorothy Hall of Chester-le-Street Heritage Group at the stall displaying old photographs of the park.