Agenda item



Report ES18085


Approval was sought to apply for Reaching Communities England funding to upgrade the existing Kings Meadow playground and extend play opportunities into a new play area, creating a larger, coherent play space. L B Bromley would act as grant holder.


The Friends of Kings Meadow community group have developed the project details in conjunction with the local community having initially consulted the public at the beginning of 2018 with objectives for the project to:


·  cater for children of all ages;

·  provide wheelchair accessible equipment, designed in such a way that children in wheelchairs can interact with others;

·  include features to encourage imaginative play;

·  offer thoughtful seating throughout the playground for parents and carers; and

·  deliver easy access to the open field beyond.


By removing a fence between the current playground and field the space will be opened for a large integrated play area and a fundraising budget of £60k for capital costs was considered adequate.


Further public consultation (online) over a two-week period checks agreement on priorities for the play space and preferences for equipment (plus a one-day face to face consultation in the park). Following consultation, a final brief would be drawn-up for the works and tendered in line with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules. Completion of the project was expected during 2019/20. 


The first stage of the application process involves a short, online form - a decision being provided within 15 working days. If successful, the main proposal is developed and a decision made about six months following submission. 


Match funding at £10k was recommended (although not required) towards the capital project costs - £5k being proposed from the community group with £5k from the Community Fund. The group will continue its fundraising activities and the final figure will be applied to the second stage application. The Community Fund will further support the project to delivery stage.


For ongoing costs, up-front funds of approximately £10k are necessary, secured towards additional maintenance (play equipment and grounds maintenance) associated with the larger play area. The funds also cover the estimated life span of the new equipment (approximately 20 years). The £10k will be funded from the Community Fund, on behalf of the Friends group, and held in an LBB ring-fence account. There is no provision for replacing the equipment at the end of the 20-year period; however, L B Bromley will continue its existing financial obligation for play equipment maintenance and grounds maintenance at the same rate. idverde will also work with the Friends to secure in-kind funding for launch of the new playground and any other associated events and activities. 


A full list of the Reaching Communities Fund standard terms and conditions was appended to Report ES18085 as was a mood board for the second public consultation.


Members supported the recommendation to the Portfolio Holder and in so doing health benefits of the scheme were also highlighted.


RESOLVED that the Environment Portfolio Holder be recommended to agree that officers submit a grant application for up to £60k from the lottery funded Reaching Communities England fund to support improvements to the Kings Meadow playground.


Supporting documents:


Original Text: