Village’s new £70,000 play area opens following three-year project
- Credit: Picture: SWANNINGTON PLAY AREA LTD
It has taken three years of hard work and dedication but the wait for a village’s new play area to open is finally over.
Work on Swannington’s playground, based off School Road in the village between Cawston and Felthorpe, began earlier this year in July.
It came following a decision in 2016 to remove most of the old playground equipment after it was condemned by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents as unsafe for use and beyond repair.
It had been originally installed in the early 1980s to counteract anti-social behaviour in the village.
But four years ago, a group of residents formed a not-for-profit company called Swannington Play Area Ltd (SPA) to get a new play area built - the land itself was leased from the then owner.
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After the equipment was removed, the ownership of the land was under question so SPA was unable to buy new equipment. But in 2017, the land was gifted to Swannington Parish Council on behalf of the village.
Laura Marfell-Williams, director of SPA, said: “We are so pleased that the new play area is finally complete.
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“It’s been fantastic to see people enjoying it including many new faces who have come from outside the village.
“Unfortunately our planned official opening has been postponed due to tighter social gathering restrictions, but there’s still plenty of scope to enjoy the new equipment in smaller groups.”
Biffa Award, which gives grants to projects that benefit communities living near landfill sites, paid for almost £59,000 of the £70,000 project, with the rest paid for by local charities and fundraising events.
Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award grants manager, said at the time of the work starting she was looking forward to seeing children enjoy the new facilities.
She added: “At times like this it is more important than ever that we continue to support projects that build communities, like this new play area for the children of Swannington and surrounding villages.”