Council reveals plans to rejuvenate green spaces

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NHDC logo - Credit: Archant

More than £3.3 million is set to be invested over the next five years on rejuvenating green spaces.

North Herts District Council’s Green Space Strategy sets out how the council will maintain and improve parks and gardens, play areas, cemeteries, sports facilities and pitches throughout North Hertfordshire between 2014 and 2019.

Among the areas earmarked for investment – which will include external funding – are the Serby Avenue play area, which will be renovated at a cost of £75,000, and a £35,000 project to reconstruct pathways and roads at Royston’s cemeteries. The council will also spend £20,000 on the Newmarket Road recreation ground to improve provision for wheeled sports such as BMX riding and skating.

Between 2008 and this year just under £5m has been spent on green spaces, with £3.42m coming from external funding.

Cllr Ian Knighton, the district council’s portfolio holder for leisure, said: “The importance of green spaces is well recognised. Our health and wellbeing, a sense of pride in the local area, the enjoyment of being outdoors and the environment around us – all these are affected by the quality of our green spaces, from parks to play areas and from woodland to sports pitches.

“At a time when local authorities face increasing financial pressures, the council will be increasingly reliant on external funding to support the many and diverse projects set out in the strategy, but we are confident in our ability to continue delivering the work required to maintain and enhance our green spaces.”

As reported in the Crow earlier this month, Royston’s green spaces could be further enhanced by a splash park.

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A feasibility study is being carried out into possible locations and the costs of building a park in the town, with a view to it being added to the Green Space Strategy.

In recent years, the district council has secured external funding and grants to support projects such as the redevelopment of Howard Park and Gardens in Letchworth GC, which was completed last year.