Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Submitted by: Start Financial Planning

Description

This project is to provide a new play space for children aged 0-13 years in Somersall Park, Chesterfield. The new play space will be accessible to children of all abilities. The Friends group have developed a masterplan for the park and the overwhelming priority at consultation stage was for a new play area. This is an application for £25K, which would fund the supply and installation of play equipment, safer surfacing and landscaped elements. A detailed breakdown of the quote is available on request. The play area in Somersall Park is nearly 30 years old and looking very tired and dilapidated. If funding cannot be found to provide a new modern inclusive play area then it is likely it will be removed, as it is end of useful life, and there is no council funding for a replacement.

The existing junior play area in Somersall Park was installed in 1992 and is in very poor condition. The equipment routinely breaks, making it unavailable to children as a result. The existing play area is heavily shaded by trees and the play surface can be very slippery as a result. Last winter the surface was deemed unsafe and the whole play area was closed off to the public. Children and adults do slip and fall on the slippery surface, increasing the risk of the play area being permanently removed. The new play area will be relocated to the south side of the river. This play area will significantly improve the play experiences and activities available to local children, their parents, carers and visitors to the park. The new play space is a one-off design specifically designed for its location including pieces of dynamic play equipment. It includes exciting and engaging play equipment for all ages and abilities. A range of different materials provides varied play opportunities and it would create a pleasant community space for all. This project will create a focal point in the park where people can meet.

The equipment and layout were chosen through consultation. The Friends group publicised the consultation via their Facebook page (1,230 members), website, email contact list, group meeting, local magazine S40 (with a circulation of 8,000 local households), community newsletter and notices in the park itself. The Friends group also consulted face to face with twelve community groups (various youth groups, church groups, tots cafes, knitting groups, preschools) and four local schools. There was also a group meeting open to all members of the community. A total of 1,130 people completed questionnaires and 97.5% agreed with plans to replace the existing play area with a new one.

The Friends group is a community group that was set-up to promote the use of Somersall Park. It organises regular events to bring the community together and seeks to raise funds to help improve the park facilities. However the existing play area (and therefore the park) is avoided by many families due to the poor equipment and slippery surface. Local families opt to drive to other play spaces rather than walk to their local park. This project would serve as a catalyst to revitalise the park and it would attract significantly more visitors. The total project cost is £80K and the Friends Group have successfully secured £55K from other sources. If this application was successful it would mean the installation of the new play space could proceed. There is huge local support for a new play and it would be a highly publicised milestone.

Friends of Somersall Park

Location: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, United Kingdom

The Friends group work really hard to improve the local park. They have partnered with schools to plant trees and bulbs, funded football posts and run a number of well attended events. They also organise regular litter picks. They are committed to making the park a community hub for all to enjoy.
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