New 'pocket park' in Leiston will provide a place to relax and reflect

Russ Ranger and Denise Ranger Administrator. . The church garden of Leiston United church is getting

Russ Rainger, Chair of Leiston Community Land Trust and Denise Rainger, Land Trust administrator, at the proposed site for the garden in Leiston - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

A new community green space should be open to the public within the next couple of weeks, providing a place to relax and reflect. 

Work has been taking place to create the ‘pocket park’ in an area at the United Church in Leiston and the nearby Co-op in High Street, and the site should be accessible in early February. 

Leiston Community Land Trust has been working in partnership with the church and Co-op to develop the land by removing a 4m high brick wall separating the church from the car park. 

The garden space is being refurbished and an alleyway created to link the car park with the High Street. 

Ground surrounding the area has been levelled and hard landscaping introduced to create a modern accessible throughway to the town centre. 

Access ramps have also been installed to the rear of the church so visitors to the church hall can spill out into the new green zone. 

Space is also going to be provided for a bandstand, though this is not expected to be installed until the end of March or April. 

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Local youth groups have also been involved with the project to encourage community participation and ownership, as well as providing a space for people to meet and socialise and engage in peaceful contemplation. 

Trust chair Russ Rainger said the garden is part of a larger scheme near the Co-op to develop space to provide housing and retail outlets. 

The overall cost of the project is expected to be £300,000, with funding through grants from the town council, as well as local donors and sponsors. 

Mr Rainger said: “The aim of the garden project is to provide a pocket park, a green space. It will be a walkway, but we want to provide planting and a green space in an area that was not previously accessible to the public because of the 4m high wall. 

“It is a lovely, peaceful area by the High Street. A lot of people walk round it and pass it and I think they will be able to enjoy it.”