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Residents celebrate opening of new play area

22 October 2016
 
Oxenholme residents have celebrated the grand opening of a £60,000 new play area.

The community group Oxenholme Play Area Development (OPAD) helped raise funds for the project through a ‘crowdfunding’ appeal to add to a £25,000 contribution from SLDC, £5,000 from Kendal Town Council and other funding from local councillors’ member budgets, charitable trusts, leisure organisations and local company donations.

OPAD has worked closely with SLDC on the design of the new playground, including community consultations on what should be included in the scheme, and the new-look park at Bolefoot was officially opened on 22 October, by SLDC Chairman Councillor Sylvia Emmott.

The new play space incorporates ideas and suggestions from consultations run by OPAD in both 2014 and 2015, for a playground suitable for youngsters aged up to 14 that is accessible to both disabled and non-disabled users.

OPAD ran a successful Just Giving crowdfunding appeal last year that helped raise enough money to add a ‘space net’ climbing area to the scheme, which also includes brand new slides, swings, climbing frames, seating and shelters.

OPAD chair and mum-of-three Emma Turner, said: “It has been a real community effort and lots of people have got involved, contributing funding and giving ideas about what they’d like to see in the park.

“We’ve been helped by SLDC, the town council, local businesses and charitable trusts and residents in Oxenholme have also paid towards it, we even had a sweetie jar in the local shop for donations.

“It should be something the whole community can be proud of because they have played such a big part in making this happen.’’

The SLDC funding has come from its play budget (£5,000) and a further £20,000 from a Locally Important Projects (LIPs) grant.

Councillor Brenda Gray, SLDC ward councillor for Oxenholme and Natland, has also supported the project and contributed £3,000 funding through her last three years’ member allowances.
Playground manufacturers, HAGS SMP, designed the new play space incorporating ideas and suggestions from consultations run by OPAD in both 2014 and 2015, for a playground suitable for youngsters aged up to 14 that is accessible to both disabled and non-disabled users.

LIPs grants are intended to support SLDC’s Council Plan priorities on environment, housing, supporting the local economy or health and wellbeing.

Organisations that are eligible to apply for LIPs funding include parish and town councils and community organisations.

In the most recent round of LIPs grants £285,000 was awarded to projects as diverse as  installing a drainage scheme at a local football club pitch to funding studies to alleviate a village’s traffic congestion issues.

The LIPs money is allocated through the New Homes Bonus, where the Government matches the council tax raised for new homes and properties brought back into use. Additional funds are also given for each affordable home built.

SLDC decided to use the New Homes Bonus funds to address the needs of local communities and part of the money goes towards LIPs grants.

The full list of funders for the Oxenholme play are:

  • SLDC play budget (£5,000)
  • SLDC LIPs funding (£20,000)
  • Kendal Town Council (£5,000)
  • SLDC member allowance x3 (£3,000)
  • Anonymous donation (£6,000)
  • Croppers (£500)
  • Community fundraising (£72.10)
  • Just Giving crowdfunding (£577.10)
  • Hatfield Trust (£2,000)
  • Lakes Leisure (£5,000)
  • Holehird Trust (£2,000)
  • Lakeland Ltd (£1,500)
  • Frieda Scott Trust (£2,500)