Local school children have launched a brand new play park they helped design, after PHP secured funding to develop the site close to Alderney West Community Centre and Alderney West Community Garden in Poole.
The PHP, Borough of Poole and SITA Trust-funded play park – which residents have named ‘Alderney Orchard’ to recognise its location and family of nearby fruit trees – has taken just four weeks to build and features a range of equipment, including a tunnel mound, agility trail, climbing frame, talk tubes and swings. Benches and waste bins have also been installed.
The 500m2 scheme has cost £90,488 to develop. PHP contributed £30,000, Borough of Poole £11,970, and the remaining £48,518 came from SITA Trust – a not-for-profit company which supports improvements to natural environments and local communities.
Consultation with residents earlier this year revealed that Alderney’s existing play area at the end of Belben Road was poorly located, had limited scope for play, and was reaching the end of its functional life. PHP, Borough of Poole and the Residents of Alderney West community group set to work developing ideas for a new scheme and asked local children to select the pieces of equipment they would like to play on.
The location of Alderney Orchard means more than double the amount of children now live within walking distance of the play park compared to the old facilities. The equipment is low-lying, making it ideal for younger children, and the site’s proximity to Alderney West Youth Club, Alderney West Community Centre and a multi-use games area means there are facilities available for older children too.
As part of the project, the current play area will be decommissioned and reinstated to natural heathland. The ongoing inspection and maintenance of the play area will be transferred to the new Alderney Orchard site, ensuring no extra cost to Borough of Poole.
PHP Housing Officer Emily Watts, who liaised with local residents and applied for the SITA Trust funding, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide this much-needed facility for Alderney West residents to enjoy. Not only will it provide a fantastic play opportunity for younger children, but also contribute to the strong sense of community developing in the neighbourhood. I know residents are looking forward to a united future thanks to the location and quality of this brilliant play park.”
Cllr Karen Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, Borough of Poole, said: “The new play park is a real asset for the local community, and it was nice to see the residents so engaged in helping develop the ideas for the new scheme – a great example of a community working together to help transform their local area.”
Marianne Ivin from SITA Trust added: “This long-awaited play area will be a great asset to the community of Alderney. Helping to create brand new play facilities is always an exciting project for us to be part of and we can’t wait to see the play area come to life.”