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Villagers seek £80,000 for dream playground

Members of Willaston Residents' and Countryside Society hope to raise cash for playground makeover

The playground in Willaston

Villagers are hoping to raise more than £80,000 to realise their dream of giving an unloved playground a huge makeover.

The appeal, which has already raised more than £10,000, has been launched by Willaston Residents' and Countryside Society.

Society secretary Sarah Shannon explained: “Willaston is a lovely village to live in but our playground is currently a disgrace.

“It is run down and unattractive to children.

“We are working hard to raise enough money to make our dream of a fit for purpose playground that can be enjoyed by children of all ages come true.”

A recent survey saw residents giving the playground a firm thumbs down with 22% of villagers scoring it 0/5 and 68% between zero and two.

Over the last year, the society has been looking at how to improve the play area, on the Johnston Recreation Ground and has been talking to people in the village, particularly parents with younger children.

It says it has ‘a clear indication of the sort of improvements that people would like to see’.

Proposals have been developed by a landscape architect at Cheshire West and Chester Council who has developed a design of what the playground could look like in the future.

This includes additional swings for younger and older children, changes to a slide to make it safe, a new roundabout and a large climbing feature.

There would be additional seating for adults and children, a new entrance and a path around the area to make it more accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs and a small football area.

Funding is being raised in two stages to enable some progress to be made in the next year, even if the society cannot achieve everything that it would like with the first phase costing about £47,000.

An anonymous donor has pitched in with £5,000 and Willaston and Thornton ward borough councillor Myles Hogg (Con) is putting up £3,000 from his member’s budget.

At the other end of the scale the 2nd Willaston Brownies have raised almost £25 by filling Smartie tubes and members of Willaston Country Market made a donation of £19 rather than sending each other Christmas cards.

 

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