First stage of long-awaited Tasburgh playground
After months of believing their dreams of a new playground had been dashed, children in a south Norfolk village have been watching excitedly as the first of their long-awaited new play equipment arrived this week.
For two years, villagers in Tasburgh, near Long Stratton, have fundraised to revamp their ageing playground.
Recreation for All, a group of Tasburgh Village Hall users who have led the campaign, was awarded �47,000 last year in the Labour government's Playbuilder scheme to create a new area for children aged eight to 13.
But just a day before they were about to place their equipment order, the group was told the heartbreaking news that the funding had been put on hold in the run-up to the new coalition government's spending review and the project was shelved along with 11 others in Norfolk.
However, in November their plans were reinvigorated when the government released �337,000 to Norfolk County Council to distribute among the affected playground projects leaving Recreation for All with �27,500 of its originally allotted money.
And yesterday builders began constructing the new play area on the village playing field which will include new swings, a basket swing, climbing frames and a 2.8m climbing rock – already christened Tasburgh Rock.
The work, being undertaken by Adventure Playground Ltd, based in Carleton Rode, should be complete within two weeks.
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Jill Casson, secretary of Recreation for All, said: 'It's just fantastic to see it finally happening. We were bitterly disappointed last year when we thought we had lost the funding. We thought we had lost it all together so we were over the moon to get some of the money back.'
Next the group hopes to raise enough money to provide a playground for younger children, which is expected to cost about �20,000.
It will shortly launch into a series of fundraising events, including the return of the Tasburgh Festival on June 4, which will involve a day of live music and family entertainment.
Last year's inaugural festival, which was opened by former Norwich City footballers Craig Fleming and Darren Huckerby, raised more than �3,000 towards the playground fund.