Green Park Horbury - Reviving Our Community Park

by Michael Cudworth in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Total raised £3,915

raised so far

+ est. £827.50 Gift Aid

48

supporters

HELP TRANSFORM GREEN PARK from an underused, underinvested park into an exciting, welcoming and accessible community space for all to enjoy!

by Michael Cudworth in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Horbury Heritage Trust, along with the newly formed Friends of Green Park Horbury and supported by Horbury Common Lands Trust, have been working together to take over the management of Green Park and reinvigorate it in this exciting community led project.

OUR VISION - is to revive Green Park and make it a welcoming, accessible, safe, family friendly community park. Encouraging play, exercise and relaxation for people of all sexes, ages and abilities through a variety of engaging features and activities.

We aim to transform our community's recreational opportunities and contribute to improving physical health and mental wellbeing for visitors to the park. Creating a park that encourages our children to be active and enjoy opportunities to play, whist being a gateway to being more active as adults. 

We also intend to improve the landscape and encourage more biodiversity, with plans to plant up to 150 trees and shrubs, along with the creation of a wildflower meadow. 

OUR OBJECTIVE - is to commence a first phase of high priority improvements when the lease to take over management of the Park is completed and funding is secured.

The planned features are:

  • Toddler & Junior Play areas (Top scorer in our consultation)
  • 1k perimeter path / path network (2nd in our consultation evidencing the access problems at many times of the year. Also crucial to provide safe access to any features we add)
  • Teen Play Area: (Strong advice we received is to develop both play areas at the same time and be inclusive to young people of all ages)
  • Enhancements for biodiversity: (Trees, meadow, small orchard, hedgehog homes, bird boxes etc)
  • CCTV: (If logistically possible we will instal this to monitor the main play areas)

(The first 4 items all obtained a high level of support in our extensive public consultation, with over 50% of respondents rating these suggested improvements as being of "high importance". CCTV was added to the Masterplan following consultation feedback and analysis. The Masterplan can be viewed in full at https://www.primrose-hall.com/green-park)

YOUR DONATIONS - will be a critically important step towards achieving 2 key objectives:

1. It demonstrates our community's support for the project to major grant funders, 

and 

2. It provides funds that can also be utilised to obtain "matched funding".(Matched funding is a way of multiplying the value of your donations by using some, or all, of it to unlock larger grants.)

 A number of bids for funding are already being progressed and we are well on our way to securing £60,000 towards the pathway network, preliminary costs & professional fees. Of course this crowdfunding campaign will not pay for all these things, but your donation will help us secure more funding, as well as directly contributing to the first phase of improvements, which may take place in stages as and when funds become available.

So, however much you are able to contribute, it really will help towards making a massive difference to the project. 

And remember - if you are a UK taxpayer please tick to add Gift Aid. Horbury Heritage Trust is a registered charity and we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you donate at no cost to yourself!

The whole project will be the biggest community led project ever seen in Horbury, costing an estimated total of £600,000! It sounds daunting, but we have a fundraising strategy to achieve this over a 2 to 10 year period - Rome wasn't built in a day! 

Horbury Heritage Trust has a proven track record of fundraising and managing a community asset, having previously taken over Primrose Hall. We raised over £220,000 to enable it to be refurbished and reopened for our community to enjoy. So it can be done!

Following our successful Community Asset Transfer bid to Wakefield Council, we are now in the process of negotiating a 50 year lease with them to secure the future of Green Park and improve it for our community. 

OTHER OBJECTIVES - As time goes by there are other features we aim to add in  phases when funding becomes available. Including:

  • A "pump" cycle track
  • Outdoor gym trail
  • Multi Use Games Area
  • Information posts and story trails
  • Miz Maze

(The timing of all the planned improvements will depend on the funding available. If funding is obtained that is exclusive to individual features, then they can easily be brought forward).

BACKGROUND TO THE PROJECT:

Many in our community lack the opportunity to exercise, play in, or even access Green Park. It is a great space, but has 7 acres of mainly semi rough, improved grassland of limited value to people or wildlife. It is muddy and uninviting in winter and wet weather. It's entrances and lack of paths exclude less able bodied people, making it impassible for wheelchair users and very difficult for prams. It has nothing to attract families other than open grass when dry enough. Indeed, it doesn't even have a single bench! 

We commissioned a Feasibility Study, completed by "Groundwork". This highlighted that "there is a real gap in the provision in Horbury" adding that the park has "very significant potential for improvement and that our (Horbury Heritage Trust) trustees could bring investment to the site and create a newly revitalised park responsive to local needs in the 21st century".

The need for good quality public spaces has become even more apparent during the Covid pandemic and the need for our community to have access to free leisure facilities only increases as the cost of living crisis deepens.  

We are confident that the masterplan for Green Park will plug the "real gap in the provision in Horbury", as highlighted by Groundwork, and improve our community's physical and mental wellbeing. Our extensive public consultation showed that on the whole you agree. From 390 responses, representing 406 individual views, 97% of respondents favoured improvements in the park - even if not always the same improvements.

For many years people have bemoaned the loss of facilities in Green Park and asked whether we could take it over and improve it as we had with Primrose Hall. The problem with running a park like this is that you simply don't have income streams to cover your costs! The turning point came when Horbury Common Lands Trust began to share our concerns about the future of the park. Following discussions they agreed to work alongside us and provided grants to cover the Feasibility Study, Public Consultation, Masterplan design and Fundraising Strategy. All these were essential towards establishing whether the project could be viable.

Having agreed that the project was viable, we are indebted to their trustees for agreeing an annual grant towards the running costs of the park. They have also recently provided a further grant of £5000 towards legal and professional fees to commence the project.

With your support we can deliver the improvements that are so badly needed and have a park to be proud of. Thank you for your support.

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