Eaton & Cringleford

Eaton playground project reaches funding stage

Just Regional
Jan 11, 2016 3 mins read

Children could soon be enjoying a new play area on Eaton Green thanks to a project by the Eaton Village Residents’ Association (EVRA).

Back in 2013 the EVRA committee looked at various aspects of the village to identify where they could make a difference, and playgrounds was one such area.

“A survey of facilities found that we had three play areas only suitable for very young children and one play area, Eaton Green, that only had very basic facilities for older children,” said Chris Stebbing, EVRA vice chairman. “It was decided to explore improving the facilities at the larger Eaton Green play area to make this more family friendly and provide new play equipment.”

A meeting with Norwich City Council highlighted that there was no money around to provide new play equipment but that the council would support EVRA in any way they could. The council also advised that EVRA should conduct a survey to get residents views on the play area and what sort of improvements they favoured.

The survey took place in Autumn 2014 and the responses supported providing better play facilities at Eaton Green. The survey also highlighted that many residents visited Eaton Park or Cringleford recreation ground because of the better play facilities and that little use was made of the local facilities in Eaton Village.

In May 2015 EVRA invited the children at Eaton Primary School to design their ideal playground based on the ideas and suggestions from the survey and the whole school got involved. The best design was selected from each class and representatives from EVRA attended a morning assembly to present prizes to the winners.

The designs were compiled into a “wish list” and were used to seek detailed designs and quotations.

“We received quotations at the end of the summer and now know that it will cost around £50,000 to provide and install the equipment for the ideal play area,” said Chris. “EVRA does not have that sort of money, but we know that there are various funding bodies and trusts that give grants for community projects such as ours. So we are now building a funding case to submit to such organisations early in 2016.

“However, not everything has to be done at once and we could make initial changes and then add to these in coming years.”

EVRA continues to work with the city council to get their approval and support for the plans. The council will assist with the procurement process, replace the boundary fences and take on responsibility for maintenance of the new equipment.

“The current site and facilities look somewhat bleak and uninviting and yet it is conveniently located within the village and has a nice open setting with views across to Keswick Hall,” said Chris.

“Our aim is to provide a range of play facilities for children of all ages so that families can enjoy their visit to Eaton Green and save the drive to other play parks. We will also provide seating and some form of shelter/shade for visitors making this a good spot for a picnic.”

As well as seeking funding from organisations, EVRA welcomes donations from local residents to help fund the project. Contributions can be made via the EVRA postbox in Waitrose. Cheques should be made payable to Eaton Village Residents’ Association. EVRA will post updates on the EVRA website at www.eatonvillage.co.uk and also on Facebook.

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