Parklife hope for estate

A Blackpool councillor has announced plans to fund a new park to support the early learning of the resort's youngest residents.

Tuesday, 15th March 2016, 9:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th March 2016, 9:31 am
Councillor Luke Taylor announced plans for a new nature area at Mereside Park (Pic: Google maps)

Blackpool Council has teamed up with Blackpool Better Start to help improve the childhoods of resort youngsters through the development of parks, nature trails, play areas and allotments.

Clifton councillor Luke Taylor expressed his support for the scheme, and revealed plans for the Council to contribute its own budget to the development of green spaces with the creation of a special new nature area at Mereside Park on Bowness Avenue in Mereside.

He said: “We’re working with the Blackpool parks team to get some funding.

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“We’re thinking of having a wildlife area with footpaths and fruit trees, an orchard, and places to sit. These spaces are important because they keep children off the streets while giving them something to do in a safe area.

“It teaches them about trees and flowers and how they grow - and it’s nice for the parents too. We are hoping to start work early this year.”

The plans come as a way of supporting Better Start Blackpool’s long-term scheme to ensure that children are well-educated and grow up healthy and happy thanks to a £45m Big Lottery Fund donation.

The money will be spent over a period of 10 years to improve services for Blackpool children, with the first signs of major outdoor development set to take place early next year.

Coun Taylor said: “We are currently in a consultation process, going around our community and getting everybody involved and finding out what it is they would like to see from the scheme.

“This is the first step in our process to develop green spaces.”

Merle Davis, director centre for early child development at Blackpool Better Start on Talbot Road, said: “Better Start is working with local communities to ensure better access toimproved outdoor parks in our seven target wards: Bloomfield, Brunswick, Claremont, Clifton, Park, Talbot, and Victoria.

“In Mereside we are supporting a year-long consultation with the community to learn more about what families would like from play spaces for 0 to three-year-olds.

“Accessible parks and open spaces benefit communities in many ways by providing opportunities to spend more time outdoors and enjoy physical activities together.”