Residents in Little Neston will soon be getting an improved play facility at Woodfall Lane, thanks to a £94,006 grant from funding body FCC Communities Foundation.
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has meant that the planned improvement work could not take place earlier in the year. A contractor has now been appointed and a programme of work is now confirmed to start on site from Monday 13 July 2020.
The on-site works will take around two months with an anticipated completion date early September 2020 and re-opening to the public soon afterwards. The play area will not reopen before work begins.
The improvements will include resurfacing, a fenced play area with new equipment and rubber safety surfacing, a fenced Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), an informal seating area at the front of the site with new pathway connections, an improved footpath alongside the play area and Woodfall Primary School plus informal greenspace.
Following comments from nearby residents, improvement will also be made to enhance surveillance and security at the site, existing perimeter vegetation and bushes will be cut back.
The project will also continue to involve Woodfall Primary School. During the autumn Woodfall Primary school children will be carrying out bulb planting and landscaping to provide a welcoming display at the front of the site.
Operational hours and works traffic accessing and exiting the site will be restricted to the hours of 8am to 6pm. Traffic and deliveries to and from site will be managed to avoid any inconvenience to residents and school staff, parents and children accessing Woodfall Primary School.
The existing public footpath between the play area and Woodfall Primary School will need to be closed from Monday 13th July for a period of two months, there will be a diversion route in place and this will be displayed on signage at the site.
Plans highlighting the improvements have been published and letters, including the plans, will be delivered to nearby residents before work begins.
The funding for the improvement work has been secured from FCC Communities Foundation’s (FCC Community Action Fund) together with match funding secured from Cheshire West and Chester Council and Neston Town Council.
Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “I’m very excited at this opportunity to breath life back into a much-loved play area in my ward. I speak on behalf of project partners and colleagues when I say how absolutely delighted we are to have received a confirmed start date for the much needed improvements to Woodfall Lane Play Area. It is unfortunate the coronavirus pandemic delayed our exciting plans however, I am very confident that in a couple of months we will have a wonderful new play facility for the community to enjoy.
“Having Woodfall Primary School next door provides a unique opportunity to work with the pupils, which will be important to the success of this project.
“Green spaces and play areas play an important role in our communities and the contribution they make to health and wellbeing has long been recognised. It is essential the quality of our play areas and green spaces is maintained and enhanced where possible.”
Richard Smith, Grant Manager, FCC Communities Foundation, said: “We are delighted that work on the construction of the play area will start soon and look forward to seeing the play area open in September. FCC Communities Foundation is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and this is a great example of what can be achieved.”
Councillor Christine Warner, Mayor of Neston said, “What a welcome announcement. The start of the new school year will see the opening of the upgraded play area. Children and their accompanying adults will benefit both physically and mentally from time spent in the fresh air enjoying this facility. Congratulations to all who worked together to make this happen."
Anyone with comments can contact the Council at: PlayStrategy@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.