AN Athersley South play park which was set up with grants of £133,000 has closed for good, just five years after opening.

Churchside Community Park, at the side of Blessed Sacrament RC Church on Matlock Road, secured money, including £80,000 from the Asda Foundation, to set up a BMX track, slides, climbing frame, seesaw and picnic area.

It opened in 2008 but vandalism led to its closure 18 months ago and because no-one was willing to maintain it and now locals have been told the equipment could be taken down to make way for housing.

Sue Hall, a local resident and church member who applied to Asda for the funding, said it was 'heartbreaking and a shame' it had closed.

"We shut it about 18 months ago because of the vandalism," she said.

"We have done the best we can but there is no-one to take over the volunteering to do the maintenance work."

Athersley South Action Group, which has now disbanded, formed shortly after the park opened to help a group maintain it.

But despite best efforts, vandalism continued, and has led to its closure.