£64,000 makeover for Hardingham Play Area | The Breckland View

Hardingham youngsters joined project organisers and community group leaders yesterday to celebrate a 64,000 makeover of the village play area and to mark its official opening by Breckland Council ward member Cllr Pablo Dimoglou. Cllr Pablo Dimoglou, Breckland ward member (right), cutting the ribbon with Mike Gibbs, Treasurer of the Memorial Hall Committee (left), and Edward Fitzalan-Howard of Savills (second from left), surrounded by local children and families. (Click photo for full size) With a challenging new play tower, log climber, swings, trail and adult fitness equipment, the upgraded play area is a fantastic addition to Hardingham and will encourage villagers of all ages to get active and stay healthy. New benches and a table have created a picnic area where villagers can relax and get together with other families.

The Hardingham play area refurbishment project received 30,652 in grants from Breckland Council, and further funding from the Daphne Edwards Charitable Trust, Fields in Trust and local fundraising efforts. An additional 30,000 from Solarcentury, Bluefield and Savills boosted the funds for the play area refurbishment and also covered wider improvements such as car park resurfacing, work to the tennis court, tree trimming and new fencing. Of the 30,652 contribution from Breckland Council towards the new play area, 17,038 was collected through a planning policy which requires developers to make a contribution to community facilities.

Cllr Pablo Dimoglou, Breckland Council Member for Mattishall ward, said: Play areas have an important role in village life, as a social hub where children and parents can meet and make friends. The previous facility had become very run-down so it s wonderful to see all this exciting new play equipment in place. It s clearly a hit with the children here today.

The project was spearheaded by Hardingham Memorial Hall Management Committee, who delivered a questionnaire to every household in the village to find out exactly what play facilities local families wanted. Survey findings showed that villagers wanted better and more varied equipment in the play area and that many were travelling to play areas in other villages or towns, in search of better facilities. Mike Gibb, Treasurer of the Memorial Hall Committee said: One of the aims in the Parish Council s Parish Plan is to promote community activities in the village and this wonderful new play area will certainly do that!

Some people living in Hardingham may not have the funds or transport to travel elsewhere, so it is especially important that the village has high quality play and exercise facilities that are free and local.

We are particularly grateful to those organisations and individuals who have provided financial support for this project.

For more information about match funding grants from Breckland Council call 01362 656870 and ask for the Communities Team.