Playground a swinging success with £63,000 makeover

Toddlers from Lisson Green estate, London, can now enjoy a newly refurbished £63,000 playground. The project to revamp the playground for the under fives was a partnership between CityWest Homes, a housing provider which manages properties in Westminster, and The Veolia Environmental Trust, which awards grants to community and environmental projects through the Landfill Communities Fund. Through a community effort involving residents, the Lisson Green Tenants and Residents Association and Councillors, the new playground will benefit families across the estate.

The idea for the project came after the sports pitches in Lisson Green had a major makeover in 2012. They now host a range of community sporting events and following their success, local families felt it was time for a dedicated area for younger children.

They contacted CityWest Homes to request a makeover for the playground. As a result, CityWest Homes provided funding of over £51,000 from their community development capital budget, while Veolia Trust provided £12,000 towards the refurbishment. CityWest Homes continues to review areas on other estates across Westminster which could benefit from a refurbishment and where more funding is required, they seek external support from organisations such as Veolia.

Over 20 families joined the consultation events held in the area and helped to pick the design of their playground. Groundwork, the designers, came along to discuss ideas. There was then a vote for the most popular design. The result is a safe, vibrant, animal themed area.

Darren Levy, interim chief executive, CityWest Homes, said: “The refurbishment is the result of huge support from the local community. It demonstrates that residents care about where they live and are passionate about improving their area. We wanted to support their ideas and as a result there is now a fantastic new area on the Lisson Green estate which has been designed by families, for families.”

The official opening of the area took place on 23 July. Local Church Street ward Councillors Barbara Grahame and Aziz Toki joined in the fun with local families and there was plenty of free entertainment on offer.

Maria Cade, the acting executive director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, added: “An active, outdoor play is an important part of children’s development and we are delighted to have supported this project. The area provides a safe but exciting space for children and families to play and socialise. It is great to see the play area open and in use and I am sure it will be enjoyed for many years to come.”

Floss Swales, a local resident who was involved in the design was thrilled by the results. She said: “I think the new playground is marvellous. It’s lovely how the area has been done up for the children. My daughter used to play in this area when she was younger and it’s great to see it improved for children on the estate to enjoy today.”

Photograph captions:

IMAGE 1: The ribbon is cut by Darren Levy, interim chief executive, CityWest Homes.
IMAGE 2: Local residents enjoy the brand new facilities.

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