Play areas quest for villagers

VILLAGERS in two Suffolk parishes are trying to raise more than £100,000 to provide facilities to help keep their children off the streets.The Wickham Market village hall playground committee hope to secure funding which will allow them to provide nearly £75,000 worth of play equipment on the village playing field.

VILLAGERS in two Suffolk parishes are trying to raise more than £100,000 to provide facilities to help keep their children off the streets.

The Wickham Market village hall playground committee hope to secure funding which will allow them to provide nearly £75,000 worth of play equipment on the village playing field.

The existing play area in Wickham Market is poorly equipped, with some of the apparatus dating back to 1974, and many residents are worried about letting their children use it because they feel it is unsafe.

The committee hope that the provision of new equipment will encourage more people to come out of their back gardens and in to the community.


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Meanwhile, following the receipt of a petition signed by 128 residents, Hollesley parish council hope to raise £35,000 to create a brand new skatepark.

Hollesley currently has very few recreational facilities for young people, especially young teenagers.

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The petition, organised by local skateboarding enthusiasts, highlighted the demand for a skatepark and if the parish council are successful in securing funding it is hoped to create one on the recreation field.

The provision of this facility is strongly supported by the police who believe it would be a valuable facility for local youngsters who are currently using the village roads for skateboarding.

Both the Wickham Market playgroup committee and Hollesley parish council have applied to Suffolk Coastal for grants to fund part of their projects – Wickham Market is seeking £10,000 and Hollesley £8,000. Their applications will be considered at a meeting of the council's grants task group on Monday July 21.

Suffolk Coastal's leisure services manager Joe Liggett said extra play facilities for Wickham Market had been identified in the council's outdoor play strategy. The project was supported by residents and had attracted partnership funding from the private and public sector.

Mr Liggett has also recommended that councillors support the Hollesley project as the council has already agreed that a "high priority" should be given to encouraging youngsters aged nine to 19 to take part in active play.

"The aim is to increase health and distract young people from crime. Skateboarding was considered to be a vehicle which lent itself to these objectives," he said.

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