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Three-year wait for new village playground almost over

PUBLISHED: 08:13 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:55 15 July 2020

Swannington Play Area committee members and children at the village's current play area, which is just about to be redeveloped. Picture: Laura Marfell-Williams

Swannington Play Area committee members and children at the village's current play area, which is just about to be redeveloped. Picture: Laura Marfell-Williams

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A village’s three-year wait for a new play area is finally nearly over.

Swannington Play Area committee members and their children in 2018, when they were fundraising to replace the play area. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYSwannington Play Area committee members and their children in 2018, when they were fundraising to replace the play area. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Work on the playground off School Road in Swannington, near Aylsham, is due to start on July 22, and should be ready for use by the August 31 bank holiday.

Biffa Award, which gives grants to projects that benefit communities living near landfill sites, are paying 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 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.

“Hopefully in the not too distant future we will be able to see children enjoying the new facilities.”

A decision was made in 2016 to remove most of the village’s old playground equipment after it was condemned by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents as unsafe for use and beyond repair.

Originally installed in the early 1980s, the equipment was introduced to counteract 
anti-social behaviour in the village, near Aylsham.

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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.

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: “Outdoor play is so important for children, and in a tiny village like Swannington the play area is even more valuable as it gives families a place to meet up.

“The redevelopment funded by Biffa Award will have a really positive impact on families from our village and the wider community.”

Lucy Mutimer, seven, whose mother Helen is the committee treasurer, said: “It’s really exciting that we are going to have a new play area.

“I can’t wait to try out the zipwire.”


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