Funding for new park equipment is granted after seven-year campaign

Zoe Gaitley at the newly-completed memorial park in memory of soldier Craig Hopson.
Zoe Gaitley at the newly-completed memorial park in memory of soldier Craig Hopson.

A park is to have a new play area built after a seven-year campaign.

Smawthorne Park in Castleford has receive an undisclosed amount to replace its ageing play equipment.

It comes after a huge effort by the Smawthorne Welfare Action Team (SWAT) led by salon owner Zoe Gaitley.

Mrs Gaitley (pictured) said: “After seven long years of fundraising, petitioning and bid writing, the Smawthorne Welfare Action Team (SWAT) have finally achieved their dream and secured the funding. Our small community group have worked tirelessly to establish the Welfare as a highly valued community resource and to raise money, chiefly through the annual gala held in the Welfare Park itself.

“However, these major improvements would not have been possible without the amazing support of Gary Sherrington and Chris Saddler from Wakefield Council’s Street Scene and of course our local councillors who have guided the group at every step.

“It is just unbelievable that we are now going to get a play area of the standard which the local families so desperately need.

“The new equipment, with a castle theme with be installed in the existing space and consist of two zones - one for toddlers and one for older children.

“The design is out to tender at the moment, but we have specifically requested modern swings and slides along with climbing and balance equipment. The work is expected to be completed by summer next year.”