ESSEX: At last it's playtime in Thaxted

PUBLISHED: 09:07 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 22:13 31 May 2010

A NEW playground will soon swing into action for the children of Thaxted after the final round of funding was secured for the scheme. Work on the £68,000, state-of-the-art facility will hopefully start in the summer.

A NEW playground will soon swing into action for the children of Thaxted after the final round of funding was secured for the scheme.

Work on the £68,000, state-of-the-art facility - which is earmarked to replace existing equipment at the recreation at Newbiggen Street - will hopefully begin in summer or early autumn and could be complete by late autumn.

The project has been directed by a working group set up by Thaxted Parish Council and includes expertise from the chairman of Thaxted Youth Club, a primary school teacher and a chartered surveyor

Spokesman for the working group, Cllr Ruth Ship, said: "There is a huge need for decent play facilities in Thaxted; the playground on the recreation ground is the only one in Thaxted.

"The community has grown to over 1200 households and much of the existing play facilities in the recreation ground are 40 years old - they simply aren't fit for purpose."

Following a series of consultations with a variety of age groups and organisations - including Thaxted Primary School, Thaxted Youth Club and Thaxted Guides - and a public exhibition, it was decided that the new facility will be aimed at two to 16-year-olds. Particular attention has been paid to 'challenging' play equipment for older children.

"The existing playground is being completely redeveloped," said Cllr Ship. "In addition we are placing a 'cable-wire' on the field as well as an activity climbing trail at the far end of the field, possibly with the introduction of a picnic area."

She added: "In all we surveyed and spoke to over 200 children from Thaxted, their likes and dislikes directly affected the playground plan.

"We felt that it was really important to include equipment that the children would want to use. We also placed the plans in the Community Information Centre for other members of the public to view and comment on."

Funding for the project has come from three sources; a £48,000 grant from Essex Land Build Fund, £15,000 from the Community Initiative Fund, and £5000 set aside for the project by the parish council in its 2010-2011 budget.

"We have managed to raise the funds quickly and this has been largely due to the tremendous support offered to us by the children of Thaxted school, youth and guides," said Cllr Ship.

"We would also like to thank Sue Hayden at Uttlesford District Council who has given us such valuable support and advice.


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