Council plans for investment of up to £1m in playgrounds across the Rochford District

Date: 
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rochford District Council will be investing almost £700,000 in new equipment which will benefit play spaces across the district. The investment will be further boosted by grant funding and contributions from parish councils, which could make the project worth over £1million.

Funding of £45,000 has already been secured from Enovert Community Trust (ECT) for Sweyne Park Open Space and a further £45,000 has now been offered by ECT for Great Wakering Open Space to overhaul outdated play items, including the supply of a new toddler multiplay unit, junior swings, toddler swings, nest/basket swing, roundabout and various sensory items, as well as adult gym equipment.

The announcement comes as the Council sets its budget for the 2019/2020 financial year, which includes provision within its capital programme for this major new project which aims to help local families pursue healthy lifestyles.

Designs and concepts for the various sites should be ready in March with delivery expected during the 2019/20 financial year.

Portfolio Holder for Finance, Cllr Simon Smith, said: “Over the past few years there have been a good number of new homes for families built in the district, for which the Council has received a bonus. With careful management of the finances, it’s now time to give some of this bonus back.

 “We’ve all heard the news about children spending less time outside than prisoners, and about childhood obesity rates, and we strongly believe in helping to reverse this trend by promoting healthy lifestyles and providing social spaces for families. We believe this can be done by providing high quality play spaces, as children are our future and deserve the best we can do for them.”

Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Cllr Arthur Williams, added: “This is an exciting project  which could provide in the region of £1million to overhaul playgrounds across the district through council investment, grant funding and support from parish councils. The aim is to provide challenging new equipment for our children and their families to enjoy for years to come.”