CONTRACTORS will start work on Monday to create the most expensive playpark in the Borders.

The new £342,000 facility will replace the current park at Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre near Ancrum.

Contractors Wicksteed will carry out the upgrade as part of a £3.1million investment in new play parks, skate park and pump tracks and other outdoor community facilities across the Borders over the next four years.

The Harestanes play park, which is expected to be completed by spring, will provide the latest fun equipment for children of all ages - as well as several disability-friendly attractions.

Although construction work begins on Monday all current facilities at the visitor centre, such as the café, gift shop, walks and special events, will continue as normal.

Ben Lamb, facilities manager for Harestanes operators Live Borders told us: “The play park at Harestanes is a huge pull for families, with kids of all ages enjoying the outdoor play facilities and countryside views.

"A revamp is, however, long overdue and we are really excited about the plans which will offer around 50 pieces of innovative and durable play equipment.

“Plans include an all-inclusive sensory boardwalk and the region’s only wheelchair swing, all set in the backdrop of an impressive Jedburgh Abbey-inspired centre feature.

"The play park will create challenging, imaginative and educational play space that can be accessed and enjoyed by children of all ages and abilities.

“The play park enhancement continues significant work and developments undertaken in the last year at Harestanes, including a new café menu which features seasonal and local produce, a new approach to our retail offer, a new events programme with live music, family activities and currently a festive performance with a Santa’s grotto.”

The Rowan Boland Play Park in Galashiels and Oxton Play Park both opened this year as part of the play areas and community outdoors spaces investment programme and have proved hugely popular with children of all ages and families.