Middleton Park playground is to get a £134,000 facelift and extension thanks to a partnership between the Friends of Middleton Park (FoMP), local Councillors and the Council’s Parks and Countryside Department.
FoMP secretary, Rachel Darton and Chair, Alan Shaw have worked with Leeds City Council to secure the funding and realise the extension and improvements of the playground. Design assistance was commissioned from Groundwork Trust, who will also project manage the building work.
Councillor Truswell supported by Middleton Park Ward colleagues, Judith Blake and Kim Groves, obtained half the funding from the Council, largely from funds that were being held in reserve for the Park. This funding has been used to lever in further grants of £39,000 from The Veolia Environment Trust, through the Landfill Communities Fund and £25,000 from the Parks for People initiative.
Rachel Darton said:
“An online consultation about the current playground prompted over 200 responses, which have been used as the basis for the design. Children said overcrowding was a barrier to play.
“The project will triple the size of the area for children to play and explore, with an increased and varied provision of fixed equipment, and other features like stepping poles, water puddle play features and wildflower areas encouraging imaginative play. The playground will be much more accessible to children with disabilities.
“It will encourage age specific play, with a toddler climbing frame and integral slide, junior swings, junior multi-unit climbing frame, cradle and boat swings, double balance beams and also encourage communal play with a multi swing, group springies and spinning dishes. There will also be a see saw and pendulum swing, and inclusive roundabout and inclusive double springy, which will be accessible to children of all abilities, including wheelchair users.”
Speaking on behalf of Middleton Park Councillors, Councillor Truswell said:
“The Park has seen massive improvements in recent years, with a £1 million National Lottery grant funding the Visitor Centre, stage, signage and paths, and the new Urban Bike Park mainly funded by British Cycling and Sport England.
“But people have rightly said that these fantastic improvements have highlighted the inadequacy of the playground, which compares unfavourably with other major parks in the city.
“This revamp and extension will go a long way towards giving the park a playground in keeping with its increasing status, but we will still be looking to raise even more funding in the future to make it even better.”
This post is based on a press release issued by Friends of Middleton Park
Photo shows Rachel Darton, Alan Shaw and Councillor Paul Truswell with artists’ impressions of the planned improvements