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£24,000 play area revamp welcomed

PUBLISHED: 10:27 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:27 20 June 2019

Sue Dent, Jill Skinner, Helen Sephton-Pike, Steve Sylvester with the new play equipment at Oaklands in Swaffham. The £35,000 project was funded by a grant of £24,000 from ‘Pocket Parks Plus’ and vital contributions from local partners. Picture: Sue Dent

Sue Dent, Jill Skinner, Helen Sephton-Pike, Steve Sylvester with the new play equipment at Oaklands in Swaffham. The £35,000 project was funded by a grant of £24,000 from 'Pocket Parks Plus' and vital contributions from local partners. Picture: Sue Dent

Sue Dent

A forgotten play area in Swaffham has had a make-over following a £24,000 grant from the government.

Otto tries out the slide which is part of the new play equipment at Oaklands in Swaffham. It is designed by Kompan to challenge children and encourage them to play and use their imagination. Picture: Sue DentOtto tries out the slide which is part of the new play equipment at Oaklands in Swaffham. It is designed by Kompan to challenge children and encourage them to play and use their imagination. Picture: Sue Dent

Oaklands play area, off Watton Road, has been given a new lease of life after having new benches, modern and colourful playground equipment and hedges installed.

A total of £24,000 in grant money came from the Pocket Parks Plus scheme, a £3.75m government programme that aims to improve small areas of green space for the wellbeing of local communities.

The scheme means more than 40 unloved, neglected or derelict urban spaces across the country will be transformed into new green spaces for its community to use.

In addition, Pocket Parks Plus will receive funding to help bring parks that have fallen into disrepair back into use.

Rowen tries out the swings which is part of the new play equipment at Oaklands in Swaffham. It is designed by Kompan to challenge children and encourage them to play and use their imagination. Picture: Sue DentRowen tries out the swings which is part of the new play equipment at Oaklands in Swaffham. It is designed by Kompan to challenge children and encourage them to play and use their imagination. Picture: Sue Dent

Opening the playground, Swaffham mayor Jill Skinner said: "We are thrilled to be able to improve play facilities in the town and hope that children will enjoy this area for years to come.

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"We very much appreciate the support from Kompan and the Rotary Club of Swaffham, which made it possible."

The new equipment was designed by Kompan with the aim of challenging children and encouraging them to play and use their imagination.

The 'you and me' swing, which is part of the new play equipment at Oaklands in Swaffham, which allows adults and young children to swing together. Picture: Sue DentThe 'you and me' swing, which is part of the new play equipment at Oaklands in Swaffham, which allows adults and young children to swing together. Picture: Sue Dent

For the youngest children there is a "you and me" swing which allows an adult and child to swing together.

New benches will be installed beside the playground and in the autumn 80 metres of hedgerow will be planted. The Rotary Club of Swaffham will be supplying and planting the new hedge as part of its year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the chartering of the club.

Swaffham town clerk, Richard Bishop, said: "It's great to be able to revamp the play area and make it a much more attractive and interesting place for the local community to enjoy."

The £35,000 playground project is suitable for children up to the age of eight.

The old play equipment at Oaklands in Swaffham has been replaced with new play equipment ready for the summer. Picture: Sue DentThe old play equipment at Oaklands in Swaffham has been replaced with new play equipment ready for the summer. Picture: Sue Dent

The Rotary Club of Swaffham's theme for the year is the environment and volunteers are adding to the current stock of trees and hedges within the town.

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