HUNDREDS of residents from Oldbury’s Lion Farm Estate flocked to a fun day event organised by Sandwell Council and homes regeneration specialist Lovell at the nearby playing fields.

The giant free gathering, featuring football, other outdoor games, refreshments and craft activities, was held to thank people in the area for their support and cooperation during the major improvement programme which is transforming three of the estate’s 1960s-built high-rise flats.

The Lovell refurbishment team began work last summer on the large-scale internal and external refurbishment programme for Hackwood, Wallace Houses and Harry Price House.

Work is now well advanced on upgrading the blocks with new pitched roofs, windows and balcony doors, the installation of fire-resistant insulated external cladding, entrance doors and canopies. The council’s improvement programme, set for completion early in 2019, also involves fire prevention measures, the installation of new lifts, the redecoration of communal areas at the blocks and the creation of additional car parking and an extensive external landscaping.

Councillor Carol Goult, Deputy Mayor of Sandwell, was among guests at the fun day event, where activities included bricklaying and carpentry demonstrations, a first aid demonstration, face painting, football games and a test of strength were all a hit with visitors.

Carl Yale, Lovell regional refurbishment director, said: “It was fantastic to join forces with Sandwell Council and local service teams to show our gratitude to local residents for their help and understanding during the project to refurbish the Lion Farm high rise blocks.

“This major scheme is bringing about important improvements but inevitably has meant some unavoidable disruption for residents.

“They’ve been incredibly patient and supportive throughout, so the idea behind the fun day was to bring the residents and community all together to express our appreciation.

“We were really pleased to see such a large turn-out at the fun day.”

The Newbury Lane playing fields could soon be home to a controversial £200 million shopping outlet scheme after plans were submitted to Sandwell Council.