A Penrith play area has been kitted out with brand new equipment, footways, entrance gates and seating at a cost of £70,000.
Supplied and installed by Kompan Playgrounds, Fairhill playing field now has a new inclusive play area which includes swings, a multi climbing unit, see-saw, rotating swing, carousel, play panels and is installed on a new rubber wet pour surface.
The improvements have been developed by Penrith Town Council, with the support of the Fairhill Community Group, which was set up a number of years ago to seek an upgrade of the facility.
“This project meets the community’s previous aims and aspirations, and follows on from earlier improvements to the play area and the installation of football goals,” said a town council spokesman.
The new equipment, which integrates with the existing play equipment, is within one fenced area and provides play opportunities for toddlers up to younger teenagers.
As well as a new tarmac footpath having been installed connecting the play area with the entrance off Salkeld Road, new gates and fencing have been put in to provide a safe access to and from the field.
Additional seating has been provided adjacent to the play area and at two vantage points in the field, allowing residents to take in the spectacular views. These improvements were undertaken by local contractor Ian Cannon.
Next to the entrance off Salkeld Road, Cumbria County Council has improved the road layout at the junction with Salkeld Road and Beacon Edge. The county council has designed a scheme to allow safer pedestrian crossing points to Fairhill and curb traffic speeds in the area.
The £70,000 improvements have been made possible by award of grants from organisations including Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council, Cumbria Waste Management Environmental Trust, the Hadfield Trust, Cumbria Community Foundation, the National Lottery Community Fund, the Fairhill Community Group and financial support from Penrith Town Council.
Mayor Doug Lawson, who officially opened the play area this week, said: “The improvements at Fairhill are fantastic and I am sure will be welcomed by the residents in the area.
“Since Fairhill playing field was devolved to Penrith Town Council in 2018, the council has strived to work alongside the community to provide improvements that allow our green spaces to be better used.
“These improvements demonstrate what can be achieved when the council, the community and wider stakeholders share a vision and work in partnership. I would like to thank all those involved in the delivery of this project.”
Fiona Johnson, chairwoman of the Fairhill Community Group, said: “The community group has achieved its long-held ambition to enlarge the play area and improve accessibility for all.
“We have had excellent feedback from parents and young people about the new equipment.
“The paved pathway to the play area makes it so much easier for pushchairs and wheelchair users, the new picnic tables are wheelchair-friendly and much of the new play equipment is accessible for people with disabilities.
“And there are new benches with wonderful views over the fells where people can rest as they use the field.”
The official opening this week was restricted in numbers to comply with the Government’s COVID-19 safe working arrangements, and it is hoped that once restrictions are eased a further opening involving members of the community, grant funders and contractors can be arranged.