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Friends could receive £12,000 for Cowling play area renovation
9:00am Saturday 23rd February 2013 in News
A friends group, which is improving a Cowling recreation ground, could receive funding of up to £12,500.
Since January 2012, the Friends of Middleton and Ickornshaw have been busy making improvements to the Snowden Memorial Recreation Ground, known locally as Middleton Rec.
And Cowling Parish Council, which is pleased with the work already done and the Friends’ future plans, has agreed to match any money raised until April 1, 2014, up to a maximum of £12,500.
Vicky Pearman, chairman of the Friends, was “ecstatic” when she heard the news and said that a fundraising campaign was under way.
Vicky, whose back garden looks out on to the recreation ground, said the group would do fundraising at this summer’s Cowling Gala and was planning other local events.
Middleton Rec has a set of swings, a multi-play structure with a slide and bridge, parallel bars and baby swings.
Some of the equipment was repainted last year but Vicky said it was time to upgrade to some “more exciting” equipment for local children.
“The equipment in the play area is looking tired, but it’s certainly serviceable,” said Vicky. “We just want to make it more exciting for the children.”
She is hoping that her son, James, who turns two in April, will be able to see the benefits of new play equipment and a better community atmosphere at the recreation ground.
“We want it to be a nicer environment for people to use,” she said. “My vision is to get people together as a community for events such as a barbecue or a fun day.
“I’d like to see a community environment where everyone knows everyone, and you look after everyone.”
In addition to upgrading the equipment, Vicky said that other improvements included landscaping.
“We’ve already received some new trees and shrubs from the Woodlands Trust to plant around the ground.”
She also said a local resident had re-done one flower bed and the group was planning to landscape two others.
Vicky is hoping that the improvements would not only create a more enjoyable atmosphere for local people, but also for visitors to the area.
“Rather than eat in their cars or in the Coronation Shelter, it would be nice if Pennine walkers could have their lunch in the park.”
She also hopes that the recreation ground would be an ideal place for educational visits by Cowling Primary School pupils.
Members of Cowling Parish Council have been impressed with the group’s work.
“We very much approve of the work that they’re doing,” added council chairman Coun Alan Perrow. “They’ve already done a great deal for Cowling.”