£40k for village pocket parks

People in Deddington and Stratton Audley will soon be enjoying new community facilities, thanks to a major funding award from Government.

Published: Wednesday, 13th March 2019

The improvements are largely funded by grants, totalling £40,000, as part of the £3.75m Pocket Parks Plus fund created by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Deddington will benefit from a refurbished play area for the under-sixes while Stratton Audley will see a safe community green space created on disused land.

A sum of £25,470 has been awarded for Deddington and £15,500 for Stratton Audley. The fund requires parks to help visitors engage with the natural environment, something both projects accomplish in their designs. Cherwell District Council is providing additional financial and project management support.

Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted that Cherwell has been successful in supporting these funding awards. Public play areas and green spaces are an essential part of community life; they help children learn and stay active and they allow parents to support one another and form new friendships.

“It is a great example of what parish councils can do for their residents: Deddington has made great strides recently refreshing its play areas for older children, but this funding was really needed to replace the worn play equipment for the under sixes.

“In Stratton Audley, a new park will be built on what is the only green public space in the village, offering children a new path to outdoor learning. Cherwell will be offering its continued support as the plans progress and we look forward to seeing them come to fruition in time for the long summer holiday.”

In Deddington the grant will enable the refurbishment of existing play areas at the Windmill Community Centre.

This includes replacement play equipment for the under-sixes; a sheltered area for parents and guardians; plus groundworks and landscaping. The Oxfordshire Playing Fields Association has provided advice on design and equipment.

This will complement recent and ongoing work on a games area for older children and a play area and woodland trail for six to 12-year-olds.

A new park will be created in Stratton Audley, opposite the church, on land owned by the parish council. The Government funding will be used to create a natural wild area and orchard to engage children with planting wild flowers and growing fruit trees. Supporting infrastructure such as new stone walls, a kissing gate and a stile is also funded.

The funded works are expected to start later this month in both villages and the installation of the new play equipment will be complete in time for the long summer holidays.