Green light for new play area after £60,000 grant

Charlotte Farnworth, five, is among the youngsters from Beetley looking forward to the new play area. 

Charlotte Farnworth, five, is among the youngsters from Beetley looking forward to the new play area. - Credit: Elle Farnworth

Children in a mid Norfolk village can look forward to a rebuilt play area thanks to a £60,000 grant. 

Major works will take place at the Beetley River Meadows Play Area following news of the National Lottery Community Fund award.

Elle Farnworth, one of the parents involved in fundraising for the new equipment, said she was delighted the project could now go ahead. 

She said: "This money will allow us to completely rebuild the play area and ensure its future for many years to come.

"The existing play area at the river meadows was built in the 1990s, but it really hadn't had any work done to it since then. 

"Last year the parish council came and removed a lot of the equipment from there, because it had been condemned."

Parents banded together into a group called the Beetley River Meadows Play Area Fund in order to run events with an aim of restoring the play area to use and improving its equipment. 

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Fundraisers have included a Beetley Christmas tree festival and a pumpkin trail.  There has also been a cake auction and plant sale. 

Together with donations from villagers and business, the group raised more than £8,500, which will fund the rest of the project.

Donations have included £2,000 from the Bruce Wake Charitable Trust, £1,000 from Fleet Sense Ltd

Mrs Farnworth said the play area would have new features so a boarder range of children would be able to use it. 

She said: "Everything has been designed so that it can be accessible for everyone - there will be a double-width slide, an accessible merry-go-round, and a sloping access ramp to the climbing frame."

 It is hoped the works will be completed by the end of the year.