Go ahead for new £30,000 playground

A playground at the Solaris Centre has been given the given light.
A playground at the Solaris Centre has been given the given light.
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A new children’s playground could be in place by next spring after the scheme secured planning approval.

Funding has also now been confirmed for the £30,000 project at the Solaris Centre in South Shore.

Squires Gate ward councillors Douglas Green and Christian Cox are donating the bulk of the cash - £25,000 - from their ward budget while it is hoped the project will get a further £5,000 from area forum funding.

Council planners, who approved the application using delegated powers, said although the development was on open public space, the proposal for a play area would retain the recreational use of the site.

A planning report says: “The extended play area would sit between the existing building and play space and so would not significantly compromise the open feel of the lawned areas to the rear of the centre.”

The play equipment will include a slide, ramp, climbing frame, swing, two rockers and a spinning bowls aimed at younger children, installed on a surface made of turf and rubber safety mesh.

Coun Green said: “I welcome the progress that has been made and now planning permission is in place, we hope we can get the playground up and running as soon as possible.

“Hopefully it will be ready by next spring.

“People say the area really does need it because at the moment it is quite a long way to the nearest park and this will provide play facilities for children closer to home.

“It will also be something visitors to the Solaris can use.”

The councillors are hoping the introduction of a playground will kick start the formation of a friends group which could then apply for additional funding for future projects.

The Solaris Centre re-opened in 2004 following a £1.7m refurbishment after the building had fallen into a state of disrepair.

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