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New park is pitch perfect

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

As featured on the Grantham Matters website on 25 Jun 2018

#park #community #sportengland #skdc #sport #leisure

Villagers turned out in force for the opening of a new park featuring sports pitches, an exercise trail, slides, swings and even a zip-wire. The £225,000 Claypole Community Park is one of the most ambitious projects to have been supported by South Kesteven District Council’s Community Fund.

It opened on Sunday during a Picnic in the Park event. The ribbon-cutting was performed by one of the village’s oldest residents Mrs Eileen Miller, and primary school pupil Isla Lamb.

A £10,000 grant from the Community Fund went towards equipment in the leisure park area, which also received major support from Awards For All and Persimmon Homes.

Another £10,000 grant from the fund, along with contributions from Sport England and the Playing Fields Legacy Fund, have paid for the installation of a new football pitch and enclosed the area to increase security and allow better site management.

SKDC’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Health, Well-being and Skills, Cllr Jacky Smith, said: “We are delighted to have been able to help such a major project.

“I hope it will encourage lots of younger people to come here and play throughout the year. We are very pleased to have been part of the scheme.

“The park is a terrific facility and a great example of what our communities can achieve.”

After buying land next to its sports field, in 2014 Claypole Parish Council launched a community engagement exercise appealing for ideas on how to use it.

The conclusion was that the area for football and other sports should be expanded and there should be a leisure park providing play opportunities for small children, exercise equipment for adults, a family area and outdoor classroom.

The parish council vice-chairman, John Freeman, said: “Without the £20,000 from SKDC’s Community Grant Fund we would not have been able to achieve what we have. The fact that this money was available encouraged other funders to back us as well.

“We have been anxious to provide amenities for the community, and had particular concern about the lack of amenities for teenage children.

“Consultation events included an after-school event for teenagers who readily identified with a routine of getting off the school bus, having tea, doing homework and then playing on the computer or watching TV, with no outside activity.”

Future plans include the installation of a skateboard/roller blade facility in the leisure park and refurbishment of tennis courts to become a multi-use games area.

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