A village project to create an exciting £200,000-plus play area accessible for all ages and abilities has received an £80,000 cash boost.
Bunbury Jubilee Playing Fields Committee has been awarded £79,680 from The Veolia Environmental Trust towards the creation of a new recreational area and natural playground at the Hurst Close facility.
Local fundraising has already generated an impressive £50,000 towards the £230,000 target, with news awaited from other grant-awarding organisations.
The ambitious vision will see aging play equipment based next to the car park replaced with new play features in a safer location, with planning consent already obtained for items ranging in size from small timber play train sets for toddlers to larger climbing frames and zip wires for older children.
A multi-purpose perimeter track will be available for running but also for children learning to ride their bikes and wheelchair users.
Beth Hayward, chairman of the playground committee, said: “This grant is great news for Bunbury and the playing field’s users. The new facility it will help fund will enable children to play in a safe, inspiring and natural playground and will increase the use of the playing fields, promoting healthy and active lifestyles for young and old.”
Mum-of-two Jen Duckett, secretary of the group, hopes the work can be phased so that work may be able to start on the new playground this summer and not a moment too soon as she feels the existing equipment is ‘rusty and unsafe’ for her children Freddie, two, and Natalie, four, to enjoy. She said: “We want this to be something that is accessible and usable by all ages and abilities.”
She said some children (and even some adults) may enjoy the ‘mud kitchen’ where youngsters will be able to get ‘100% mucky’ if they so desire. With views of Beeston Castle and St Boniface Church – where Beth Hayward’s husband Tim is vicar – and links to local English knight Sir Hugh Calveley, it seemed appropriate to incorporate knights and castles into the design of the climbing frames.
Cllr Nick Parker, chairman of Bunbury Jubilee Playing Fields Committee, which provides sporting and recreational facilities on behalf of Bunbury Parish Council, praised Beth and her group for their successful fundraising efforts over almost two years.
The Veolia Environmental Trust made the award at its quarterly board meeting last month when a total of £1.4m was signed off for 36 community and environmental projects throughout the UK.