Parent power helps revive “old and tired” play park at Tacolneston with £30,000 cash boost

New play equipment at Tacolneston Park. From left to right Jill Smith, Charlotte Hardie, Bonnie Ludk

New play equipment at Tacolneston Park. From left to right Jill Smith, Charlotte Hardie, Bonnie Ludkin, Claire Addy, Allyson Phillips, Jules Hathaway plus their respective children ranging from three to 16 years. Picture: Jill Smith - Credit: Archant

Parent power has revitalised the 'old and tired' equipment at the only play area in the village of Tacolneston by taking its future into their own hands.

In August 2015, the group of parents decided the park was 'grossly lacking' in decent facilities.

'At the time, its main piece of play equipment - a wooden climbing frame - had been condemned and what remained for the children to play on was shoddy to say the least,' said local mum Jill Smith.

'With no plans for improvement coming from the local parish council, the parents took it upon themselves to organise fund raising events and apply for available funding.'

The parents formed a committee to help the Tacolneston and Forncett Recreation Association make improvements to the park. Despite missing out on an Aviva Community Fund grant, they have secured £30,000 from the parish council and at the beginning of August four new pieces of play equipment were installed as part of phase one.

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Tacolneston Parish Council said they are investing around £30,000 into the park and the village hall after throwing their support behind the new committee.

Parish council clerk John Pennell said the old play equipment had needed updating and 'the parish council has a duty to look after its residents'.

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'The park had not fallen on hard times,' he said. 'People get older, and suddenly a very nice group of young people came out and took on the management of the charity.

'That was very refreshing to get to see, and they put together a scheme to refurbish the village hall, which they have done as well. They put together a fund raising effort to add to the equipment that already existed on the recreation ground.

'I took over as acting clerk last year and have worked very closely with this group of young people.

'The parish council has also agreed to put in a considerable sum of money into refurbishing the park. The parish council has supported the efforts of those young people to enhance and encourage what they were doing around it.

'It has been a tremendous success so far and we have more money lined up to add further to what is going on.'

Phase two of improvements to the play area is due to be completed in the new year with the help of the parish council funding.

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