CHILDREN are one step closer to getting an improved play area and open space in their community thanks to a £44,954 grant.

The money will be used to create a new play area, multi-use games area, footpaths and wider landscape improvements in Sytchcroft Park, Neston.

It has been awarded by funding body WREN, together with match funding secured from Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC), Neston Town Council and the local ward member,

CWaC’s cabinet member for communities and wellbeing and deputy council leader Louise Gittins said: “The improvements at Sytchcroft will provide a real boost for Neston.

“The project has been a great example of joint working between the Council, the Town Council, other project partners and the community.

“The importance of green spaces and play areas in our communities, and the contribution they make to health and wellbeing, has long been recognised.

“It is essential that the quality of our play areas and green spaces is maintained and enhanced where possible.

“It’s fantastic that WREN has awarded us this money and we’re really looking forward to a refurbished play area and open space taking shape over the next year.

Neston Town Council member Ceri Lloyd said: “The bid is the culmination of a lot of hard work and perseverance from a
number of people committed to improving the quality of life for Neston residents.

“The success of the bid to receive money from WREN shows the power of effective partnership working within local communities.

“The town council has worked with its partners to secure considerable external funding for this project. We look forward to working with everyone to deliver the new park and the improved recreational outcomes for people of Neston.”

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Richard Smith, WREN’s grant manager for Cheshire, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Sytchcroft Park project and pleased our funding will provide such a fantastic facility for children and young families across Neston.

“WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that make a difference to local communities and we’re really looking forward to seeing this one take shape soon.”

The council in partnership with Neston Town Council conducted wide scale public consultation in 2016 and 2017 presenting ideas to the community on how to improve the whole Sytchcroft site.

Ideas included the presentation of a masterplan detailing how to refurbish the site which included new toddler and junior play areas, a multi-use games area together with open space and landscaping improvements, improved entrances to and from the site, new signage and site footpath links.

There was widespread community support to improving the site.

The funding from WREN will contribute towards acquisition and installation of new play equipment. Work will begin to improve Sytchcroft Park in 2018.

The partnership was also successful in October this year following the Tesco Bags of Help vote in local Tesco stores, the Sytchcroft Art and Interpretation Project came third and was chosen by Tesco Customers to receive an award of £1,000.

Voting was held at Tesco stores during July and August.