Three new play facilities opened in Uttlesford

PUBLISHED: 14:37 08 August 2009 | UPDATED: 21:51 31 May 2010

From left, Saffron Walden mayor Cllr Doug Perry, Ashdon Parish Council chairman Cllr Gail Skillins, mayoress Sandy Perry and UDC community development officer Sue Hayden, and a group of Ashdon childre

From left, Saffron Walden mayor Cllr Doug Perry, Ashdon Parish Council chairman Cllr Gail Skillins, mayoress Sandy Perry and UDC community development officer Sue Hayden, and a group of Ashdon childre

NEW play facilities for children in three villages in Uttlesford have been opened. Young people in Chrishall, Ashdon and Stansted Mountfitchet are enjoying the three new play areas, thanks in part to funding secured by Uttlesford District Council (UDC). T

NEW play facilities for children in three villages in Uttlesford have been opened.

Young people in Chrishall, Ashdon and Stansted Mountfitchet are enjoying the three new play areas, thanks in part to funding secured by Uttlesford District Council (UDC).

The Chrishall play area, which has been in place for 15 years, was re-opened by Chrishall Parish Council chairman, Cllr Richard Keelin, following the completion of a major refurbishment.

The total cost of the refurbishment was £23,000, with £10,000 coming in the form of a Big Lottery Fund grant secured by UDC.

The parish council is hoping to complete a second phase of refurbishment in the future, which will include the installation of a special swing for disabled children.

A new area for children to play in was needed in Ashdon following the construction of affordable housing at Church Field and All Saints Close.

These homes were three quarters of a mile away from Ashdon's existing play area and a parish plan created by the parish council had already established that residents felt the construction of a new play area was called for, so an area of community open space was acquired by Ashdon Parish Council from UDC for this purpose.

Playground designers Miracle Design and Play of Northampton were awarded the contract and set about creating the new facility, which was funded by the parish council, county council community grants, a UDC community project grant, the Big Lottery Fund and Viridor Credits.

Chairman of Ashdon Parish Council, Cllr Gail Skillins, proudly opened the new play area. The opening was the culmination of many months of hard work by all involved and a fine example of how a community can work together to create something that benefits the local area.

The largest of the three new play areas was opened in Stansted Mountfitchet. This new multi-use games area, located at the end of Mountfitchet Road, is an impressive new hard-surface facility that gives youngsters in Stansted somewhere they are able to practice a wide range of different games and sports.

The majority of the funding for the new games area came from the Big Lottery Fund, which contributed £45,000 towards the cost of the facility. The King's Arms Hotel raised £1000 and the multi-agency group Stansted Youth 2000 (SY2000) a further £2000. Essex County Council Youth Opportunities Fund added £5000 and an additional £50 was raised at a Stansted Youth Centre Christmas fair.

Vice chairman of the Stansted Parish Council Open Spaces Committee, Cllr John Salmon, conducted the opening with the chairman of the parish council, Cllr Geoffrey Sell, and Elliot Howard, one of the young people who would be benefiting from the new games area.

Cllr Salmon said: "After all the hard work that has gone into this over the last couple of years our thanks must go to UDC for all its help in acquiring the finance for the project. This fantastic facility is well needed by the people living in the area and will be great for the youth of the village."

Cllr Sell said: "I was delighted to be able to participate in the opening of the multi-use games area at Mountfitchet Green, Stansted. I saw for myself how young people valued this facility, and it was entirely appropriate that Elliot Howard, a young persons' representative on the SY2000 group, cut the opening ribbon.

"The parish council is very grateful to UDC's leisure and community development officer Gaynor Bradley and her team for all the hard work they have put into this project. Without everyone working together so well, this project would never have come to fruition.

"This provides another facility for young people in the village. The parish council has resolved to maintain the games area, and we hope that local users will take good care of it.

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