Funding for parks gets the go ahead

22nd Febuary 2011.'A park in Knottingley is finally to get �50,000 worth of refurbishment after years of campaigning and lobbying the council'Pictured: 'Picture: MATTHEW PAGECllr Glenn Burton, Treena Dunn(red coat), Gail Merfield and Jill Lofthouse(scarf)
22nd Febuary 2011.'A park in Knottingley is finally to get �50,000 worth of refurbishment after years of campaigning and lobbying the council'Pictured: 'Picture: MATTHEW PAGECllr Glenn Burton, Treena Dunn(red coat), Gail Merfield and Jill Lofthouse(scarf)

PARKS across the district will see a major cash boost for new swings and roundabouts.

Purston Park and the playground at The Close, Knottingley, will both receive grant funding of £50,000 each to replace old equipment and install safety surfacing.

The news has been welcomed by concerned parents, councillors and members of Knottingley and Ferrybridge Neighbourhood Network, who have been campaigning for the future of the park for two years.

Mrs Gail Merifield, treasurer for the Network, said: “The council said they would do a refurbishment of the playground so we said as a group that we would help to get a second lot of funding and try to do something more after the council have done some work.

“So the stage we are at is looking to someone to fund it. We have been campaigning for absolutely ages and it would benefit from two stages.”

The Playbuilder scheme – which was funded by the Department for Education – had been on hold due to spending cuts, but a report to Wakefield council cabinet last week confirmed a portion of funds was still available.

Purston Park will receive a new development with funding from Aiming High and the park behind Knottingley sports centre will receive a refurbishment through the Playbuilder scheme.

Knottingley residents Treena Dunn, 40, and Rebecca Eyles, 23, both helped secure £75,000 in funding to revamp a similar playground at Acacia Walk last year.

Mum-of-two Treena, of The Poplars, said: “The council is going to replace some things and give it a lick of paint and put safety surfacing down.

“But £50,000 doesn’t go a long way, so we’re hoping to get funding privately and see if we can get it extended. I’m pleased, but a lick of paint here and there doesn’t do much, it totally needs blitzing and redoing.”

Rebecca, of Bassenthwaite Walk, said: “It’s about time, we’re so happy things are starting to get done. It’s not exactly what we wanted but it’s something, so it would fantastic to get something done.”

The council hopes that work in Purston should be completed by March. New equipment at Knottingley will be installed by the summer, including play equipment for toddlers and juniors such as swings and a climbing frame and basketball hoop for older children.

Knottingley councillor Glen Burton said: “It’s long overdue and hopefully we’ll treat this as phase one and them look at developing it next year, depending on support.

“We’re asking people to get behind it, I’m absolutely thrilled it’s going ahead, especially for the people who have been waiting so long. It’s great news.”

The Playbuilder grant for Wakefield was reduced from £599,197 to £374,441 by the government.