Play area gets a £75k make-over

The renovated play area.

The renovated play area.

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Youngsters in Folkingham enjoyed the final weeks of summer on a newly-refurbished play area, thanks to grants and donations.

A total of £75,000 was spent on bringing the equipment on the playing field in Walcot Lane up to date, giving children new and exciting ways to enjoy themselves.

A special village picnic was held to celebrate the official opening of the play area.

Folkingham parish councillor Victoria Strauss said she hoped the picnic could become an annual event and was delighted that the playing field was becoming a focal point for the community.

She added: “There was a play area there before but the equipment was probably about 30 years old and made of timber.

“Most of it had to be taken away for safety reasons over the years, so there was only a little left; just a slide and a couple of toddler swings.

“The reaction to the new equipment has been excellent. Every time I have gone by, there has been at least one family there.”

The council had been setting aside money for new play equipment for some time. Money also came from a number of different grants and donations.

Among the organisations to contribute were Folkingham Relief in Need, the South Lafford Ecumenical Association for Christian Ministry (known as Sleacm), the Brocklesby Trust and the Big Lottery Fund.

Lincolnshire County Council gave £12,750 through its community grants programme, which aims to help sustain a healthy, prosperous and safe life in Lincolnshire.

And county council leader and ward member for Folkingham Councillor Martin Hill contributed £500 towards the project from his councillor big society fund.

He said: “I’m very happy to see that the funds have been put to good use.

“The equipment is already proving popular with residents of all ages, and I’m sure it will continue to be well used for years to come.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has enabled the play area to come to fruition and worked over the years to make this happen.

“I’d particularly like to thank Victoria Strauss, acting on behalf of Folkingham Parish Council, for her hard work, and Hannah Weston Smith for organising the picnic on Sunday.”

Children can now enjoy playing on a climbing wall, climbing nets and a new area for younger visitors to the park.

The playing fields are also home to allotments and a football pavilion.