Survey launched to hear community's view on new play equipment plans

Frances Rayner hopes to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale.

Frances Rayner along with others in the Downham Market community hope to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

Community members in Downham Market are hoping to raise funds to upgrade 'old and tired' children's play park equipment and have launched a survey to hear people's views.

Frances Rayner, along with others in the town, are hoping to get new play and exercise equipment on The Howdale and have set up a group to look at how it can be upgraded, including how to raise funds.

She contacted West Norfolk Council (WNC), who own the land, about it earlier this year and was told no funds are available but that the council will support the community in its efforts to fundraise for new fitness equipment for the area.

The Howdale in Downham Market

The Howdale in Downham Market. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

Discussions are said to be ongoing with the council and five companies have drawn up potential plans following a site survey.

Mrs Rayner said: "A decent play park will cost over £120,000, so this project is no mean feat but we believe it can be raised, and a stunning new play park with adult fitness equipment built."

Those behind the project also hope to start grant applications and to get the local community involved with fundraising activities and events to raise funds.

Frances Rayner hopes to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale.

Frances Rayner along with others in the Downham Market community hope to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale. - Credit: Sarah Hussain


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A survey has been launched to hear people's views on the project and there has been "loads of interest" from local residents, Mrs Rayner said.

She added: "The survey is just a few simple questions about how residents see the current provision at the Memorial and Howdale Park and to get a view on what is missing and how residents would like to see it improved. 

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"It has had over 100 responses so far and we want to get more. It’s important that we get views from those who live in the town and consultation at all stages is critical.

"We want adults and children to come and look at the plans and to tell us what they love about them."

Frances Rayner hopes to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale.

Frances Rayner along with others in the Downham Market community hope to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

The group plans to share the results from the public consultation with WNC and hope to secure full support from them and other funders.

People wanting to add their comments on the project should visit surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TF9GGLR


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