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Park "expedition" helps gauge needs of £1.1m project

 
Created on 08/07/2017 @ 10:47
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An “expedition” to a park in Telford is helping groups behind a planned new £1.1m green spaces project in Newtown to gauge children’s wants and requirements.

As part of Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council plans to install a new play park during 2018, an expedition for Newtown primary school children was arranged, to visit and explore the recently installed park attractions in Telford.

Children from Treowen, Maesyrandir, Hafren, Penygloddfa, Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd, Cedewain and St Mary’s primary schools visited the park along with Newtown’s Mayor, Cllr Sue Newham, town councillors, school teachers and representatives of the ‘Going Green for a Living’ Big Lottery bid team.

Community Engagement Officer, Hywel Roberts, working on behalf of Cwm Harry Land Trust and the Big Lottery bid team, co-ordinated the trip along with the school Heads and the Town Council.

“The plan was to get immediate feedback from the children who would be using the play equipment. We’ve got a limited build area and budget, so we want to ensure that we choose equipment that will get the most use and is the most fun”, said Hywel.

“We also met with representatives of Telford and Wrekin Council, who supplied us with very useful information in respect of installation costs, maintenance and equipment popularity. That feedback alone was worth the cost of the trip.”

Hywel is working with a Big Lottery bid team, to access a grant worth up to £1.1m for improvements, maintenance and accessibility of some of Newtown’s green spaces and adjacent river. The grant is specifically for Community Asset Transfer projects.

Working closely with town council, the plan is to transfer ownership of over 47 hectares (equivalent of 70 Latham Park football pitches) of land from Powys County Council to the town council and for a newly formed constituted group, made up of community groups, charities, sport groups and other stakeholders, to provide greater access to the land and river, to improve overall upkeep and maintenance of these spaces. 

“Plans include greater access to the river for paddle sports and fishing, along with other forms of recreation, the construction of a BMX track and a Mountain Bike Trail, hosting of Cyclocross events, improved picnic areas, heritage and nature trails, growing spaces, a building to house equipment to run and maintain the parks facilities and to also act as hub for the user groups, the planned play park and a fitness trail, which may also include an obstacle course for older children and adults alike,” said Hywel.

Local groups are working hard to complete the evidence required for the Big Lottery bid application, before the deadline of September 23rd. The whole scheme is a five year development opportunity that must also, for the future, be self-sustaining. Successful bids are monitored by Big Lottery representatives throughout the project.

Newtown Mayor Sue Newham said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the visit to Telford’s play park. The children were so enthusiastic and it was a genuine pleasure to see them enjoying the play equipment.

“We’ve seen a significant reduction in maintenance of our green spaces in recent years. The community asset transfer programme would allow us to take control of the grass maintenance, offering an immediate uplift in both visual impact and practical use of the land and adjacent river, for residents and visitors alike.”

If you wish to know more about the plans for Newtown’s Green Spaces and the planned play park then you can email Hywel Roberts (hywelr@cwmharry.org.uk), or visit Newtown Unlimited Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NewtownCommunityGroup), where there’s a drone video flyover of the green spaces and a list of proposed developments. More information will be made available via this Facebook page, as it becomes available.

Photo: Children from Newtown at the park in Telford


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