Plans for derelict village children's playground to be upgraded near Grantham
A village parish council is hoping to completely transform a children’s playground after it has fallen into disrepair over the years.
The play area built on Hungate Road, Denton, more than 30 years ago is now in desperate need of renovation and upgrading to make it more accessible and suitable for children living in the village.
Denton Parish Council are hoping to work with South Kesteven District Council (SKDC), which owns the playground, to secure community funding for the project.
Sue Bellamy and Paul Gibbins of Denton Parish Council have taken on the project from former parish councillor Sarah Turtle who kick started the process of trying to improve the playground facilities.
She said: “The area is still used by families but not as much as it could be. Nearly all of the play equipment has been removed over the years and nothing has been replaced.
“Covid has highlighted just how important outdoor space is and here we have a safe area for children to play but hardly any equipment for them to actually play on.
“The demographics of the village has changed since I moved here 20 years ago. There are now more families and more children.”
Paul has lived opposite the play area for 22 years and often removes the weeds from the play area.
He added: “It is not welcoming at all. It looks abandoned and value of play is nill. It’s useless as it is - it will just deteriorate even further if left.”
The councillors have received support from the majority of residents in the village after distributing a survey asking for their suggestions on how the area should be developed.
Sue added: “The parish council would have tried to do something each year for it, buy a slide etc, but our powers are limited as we don’t own it.
“We’ve been in touch with several companies for quotes on play equipment and have seen some great ideas including replacing the surface and incorporating interactive boards. We are a farming community and a conservation village and so we want any changes to be in keeping with the village.”
SKDC has confirmed that its spending on council play areas is principally confined to maintenance and repair, rather than provision of significant new equipment.
Cabinet member for commercial and operations Peter Moseley (Con)
said: “We have talked to the parish council representatives wishing to improve play facilities in Denton and staff have offered help with advice and contacts for external fundraising, including conducting a funding search for play equipment. We will continue to help all we can.
“The equipment on site, although limited to climbing ladders and a swing, is safe and usable, and no equipment has been removed in recent years. We have looked at adding a springy play item, but there is limited space available because of an existing wall.
“Our community fund has grants available of up to 80 per cent of project costs to a maximum of £5,000, which are generally used as supporting funding for larger applications to other funding sources.
“Our experience of similar projects has highlighted that significant levels of funding, planning, consultation and wide community support are required to update and increase levels of play equipment.
“We would obviously welcome an application to the community fund when the parish council has secured support from a major funder.
“Once the project is complete, we would then be prepared to take over any ongoing maintenance for new play equipment.”