Anchorsholme Park wins more than £9k in Lottery funding for 'Mud to Magic' project

Anchorsholme Park has won a generous grant from the National Lottery for improvements to its children's play area.

By Wes Holmes
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 12:30 pm
Children playing at Anchorsholme Park
Children playing at Anchorsholme Park

The £9,484 is the largest grant to date for the park, which reopened in July last year following an £80m project by United Utilities to build an underwater tank able to hold five Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of storm water.

The money will be used to improve surfacing in the children's play area, which was notoriously muddy throughout the winter months last year.

The project, called 'Mud to Magic' by the Friends of Anchorsholme Park group, is expected to begin within the next two months. Building is expected to last up to two weeks.

Councillor Paul Galley, who is the group's secretary, said: "When we put the playground in we put a safety surface under half of the equipment, which was great. The other half had a more organic surface which was a mixture of mesh and grass. But because the demand for the park during lockdown was so high, and because we had so much rain last year, the grass suddenly turned into mud and it really wasn't fit.

"What (the project) will do is lay a carpet down around the play equipment and install some wooden steps to the slide, the outcome of all of which will see the playground able to be used in all conditions, all weathers, and all times of the year."

Anchorsholme Park was closed for five years while United Utilities carried out its extensive development.

A new play area was installed with the needs of of children with disabilities in mind.

Climbing equipment and zip-wires, tennis courts, an outdoor football area and netball and basketball courts were also put in place to encourage older children to spend more active time outdoors.

An outdoor amphitheatre and a cafe also opened onsite with the easing of Covid-19 lockdown rules, and a putting green and central flower garden is currently in development on the field.

Paul said: "As a Friends group we are so grateful to the lottery for backing us and will keep everyone updated when the work is carried out. This grant represents our biggest grant award to date and is another big step forward for our park.

"We would like to thank the Lottery for believing in us and what we want to achieve. There is no point having a great park if people can't access it. They have really connected with our vision of making this a park that is accessible all year round."