Coming out to play!

PUBLISHED: 12:58 31 May 2007 | UPDATED: 15:06 12 May 2010

Pic: Dick Harding

Pic: Dick Harding

ASHWELL Parish Council unveiled the final stage of the new playground on Ashwell Recreation Ground at an opening ceremony on Monday. The project to refurbish the playground has cost more than £70,000 and taken four years to complete. Equipment now availa

ASHWELL Parish Council unveiled the final stage of the new playground on Ashwell Recreation Ground at an opening ceremony on Monday.

The project to refurbish the playground has cost more than £70,000 and taken four years to complete.

Equipment now available for young people to use includes two sets of swings, a pyramid climbing net, activity boards and a skate ramp.

Sarah Talks, Ashwell parish councillor responsible for the playground, said: "More than 50 people attended the opening ceremony, which was an amazing turnout considering the atrocious weather.

"While the project was going on I think a lot of people were concerned there wouldn't be sufficient facilities to cater for all age groups, particularly the older children.

"But since completion I've received a lot of positive feedback from young people."

Cllr Talks said the refurbishment was required because the old equipment, which dated back to the 60s and 70s, needed replacing.

"Our playground has an annual inspection, and four years ago the inspectors noted that the old equipment was becoming out of date," she said.

"At that time we also received a letter from an 11-year old girl asking us to brighten up the playground and to make it more accessible for younger children."

The work has taken place in three stages, with the final additions being a large climbing frame and super nova round-about.

Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN) provided £10,000 to fund the last stage of the work, while £40,000 came from the Henry Colbron Trust, which was set up in the 17th century to benefit the children of Ashwell, and is administered by the Merchant Taylor company of London.

Parish council clerk Jane Porter said the project would not have been possible without the support of these charities and the local community.

She said: "A lot of hard work has been put in, and people have given up their time to help.

"Without the significant capital funds from Merchant Taylor's and WREN we wouldn't have been able to do this.

"The community has come together and worked very well, I have nothing but praise for their involvement.

"The new facilities are fun, colourful, and above all meet the required safety standards.

"So far it has been very well used and we have had some positive feedback.

"I am particularly happy with the older children's playground, which has a bigger climbing frame and slide."

Cllr Talks said the playground was already very popular.

"What I like to see is the mix of age groups using the playground throughout the day.

"In the morning it is full of young children and their families. In the afternoon the older children come out and play there, and in the evening teenagers arrive to use the skate ramp," she said.

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