More than £116K funding will give facelift to three of Preston’s parks
A total of £116,940 is in the pipeline to give three of Preston’s parks a facelift.
It means Conway Park in Fulwood, Waverley Park in Ribbleton and Tanterton Green Play Area in Ingol will all see improvements made to them.
While Conway Park will be treated to a £42,317 makeover complete with a better footpath network and better drainage, Tanterton Green Play Area will have £47,889 to give it a boost with a refurbishment.
Meanwhile £26,734 is going towards improving the lighting at Waverley Park to put the groundwork in place which will enable bids for funding for a full revamp. Tanterton Green is to get its upgrade thanks to Ingol and Tanterton Neighbourhood Council pitching in with £22,389 and Lancashire Environmental Fund which has matched the figure with another £25,500.
New play equipment is set to include a whirl, a surf spinner and a gyro.
Coun Bill McGrath, of the Neighbourhood Council, said: “The play area was a decent play area but it didn’t have a fence round it when it was put in so dogs could get into it.
“It was to make the children safer from the dog faeces. The ground wasn’t proper either, it could be muddy and there wasn’t enough equipment.
“We did a survey on it and there were very few people using it.”
Alan Brookes, who spearheaded the work and who was a councillor at Ingol and Tanterton until the local elections in May, said: “The existing play equipment is got a little dated so we wanted to make it more attractive and accessible for parents to bring their children to.
“There’s a request from parents - they would like railings round the area where the swings are so they can better keep an eye on their children.
“We are putting hard surfacing to make the equipment more accessible. We also want to improve the drainage.
“On top of that we are putting in two or three items of play equipment - a whirl, a surf spinner and a gyro.
“We decided we would try and get match funding from organisations. Lancashire Environmental Fund is giving £25,000 and the Neighbourhood council is giving £22,000.
“The land is owned by Preston City Council so it just needs PCC approval to do the work.”
Conway Park Play Area is another Preston park which will be spruced up. No one from the Friends of Conway Park was available for interview but according to documents at Preston City Council, “the equipment is very old and tired and in need of modernisation”.
The report continues: “Equipment has been selected to offer good play value and to be robust.
“The first phase refurbishment consists of a new junior multi-unit, slide and an inclusive basket swing.”
Funding comes largely from the Lancashire Environmental Fund but the Friends group for Conway Park has also raised cash in its fundraising efforts.
Finally, although parents who take their children to Waverley Park in Ribbleton would dearly like to see the space upgraded, the threat of vandalism has spurned efforts to bag funding for that purpose.
Chairman of the Friends of Fishwick and St Matthew’s (FOFS) and Preston City Council coun Martyn Rawlinson said: “The community group has some money to spend in the area - it’s not a vast amount of money and it needs to go a long way over a number of years.
“But the play area needs upgrading. However when it came to looking for funding to upgrade the different spaces on the park, partner agencies were struggling to get money in because of the anti-social behaviour on the park so they said we needed to get lighting first.
“If we got lighting it would mean we would be able to get more funding otherwise it would just be vandalised again.
“It’s the friends group which has funded for the majority of the lighting upgrades - just to get the place ready so that we can apply for more funding.
“We have also funded another group to do some work with young people in the area who are getting into trouble - to help reduce the anti-social behaviour so that we can start winning bids to upgrade the park.
“It’s step by step. We know people in the area are desperate to get the park upgraded. I wouldn’t have thought it would take too long to get the work done because lots of work has been done on this already.”
The project at Waverley Park will upgrade all 26 existing lighting columns to bright white LED fittings. Ten new additional LED Lighting columns will also be added to poorly lit areas of the park, the car park and along the footpaths.
According to plans: “Consultation has revealed that community safety on the site needs improving through better lighting and CCTV improvements.“In addition there needs to be greater youth provision.”