Fradley and Streethay Parish Council in Staffordshire has received a £75,000 grant from the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF) to refurbish Streethay Play Park, replacing outdated equipment and upgrading the 0.8-acre site to make it more accessible to all age groups. Part of the funding will also be used to refurbish equipment originally built over 25 years ago.
Recent nearby housing developments have highlighted the popularity of the green space, with new equipment planned to include a zip wire and a roundabout that will be accessible to wheelchair users. To cater to wider range of age groups, the parish council will also create areas aimed at catering to adults and teens which will include exercise machines and a cleared area for ball games. Some of the original equipment, including the sand pit, swings, rockers and climbing frame will be repaired and will remain as part of the site.
In addition to the new equipment, the parish council also plans to establish a new a woodland area on the site, installing bird houses, insect hotels and bat boxes that will blend the site with the local environment and provide a nearby home for bugs, butterflies, bees and birds.
Funding for the project was awarded through a scheme set up by HS2 Ltd, the company building the UK’s new high speed rail line between London and the West Midlands. The Community & Environment Fund (CEF) allows local community groups and organisations to apply for funding, with 175 projects already receiving over £10 million to date. Projects have ranged from community facilities upgrades and sports programmes, to providing transportation for people needing to access community and healthcare services.
Cathy Elliot, Independent Chair of HS2 CEF Funds, said:
“The renewal of Streethay’s Play Park is an important investment in the future of the local area that will also provide local young people and families with a place they can connect to local wildlife. I’m pleased the parish council has been successful in securing funding for this project."
“The HS2 Funds are available to support local communities and businesses that are impacted by the construction of HS2.”
Streethay Parish Councillor Kath Hull said:
“This is fantastic news for Streethay and we are looking forward to providing some new facilities at this very popular play area. The new equipment will include a wheelchair accessible roundabout and some sensory equipment as well as a new path to provide better access to the school. We are also adding a zip wire and some fitness equipment so that there is benefit for all ages.”
As construction of HS2 gets underway, applications for the funds are still being welcomed. The Funds for Phase One of HS2 between London and the West Midlands, independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK, support urban and rural, community, environmental and business projects.