Better playgrounds for Blackpool children thanks to new investment

An £80,000 refurbishment of the children's playground at Stanley Park is among investments being made into Blackpool's parks.

An annual report setting out work done during 2021/22 sets out a number of initiatives including projects at neighbourhood parks, activities organised by park rangers and community involvement through friends groups.

An engagement officer has been taken on to work with residents on greening up projects in Blackpool.

The report says: "They will work closely with the volunteer co-ordinator and friends groups to lead community involvement and grow green space volunteering.

Work is being carried out to refurbish Stanley Park playground

"Many parks friends groups are reporting a drop in active members since Covid, with the exception of Anchorsholme who have grown a network of engaged community members.

"Work will now focus on supporting those existing groups and creating new opportunities."

It is hoped to set up new friends groups for Mossam Fields and Moor Park to improve the management, promotion and engagement of these sites.

Other positives include hundreds of young children taking part in events organised by the park ranger service, with the support of Blackpool Better Start.

Investment is being made into Stanley Park playground

But the parks department has lost out on income as events were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, and bowling clubs were unable to meet up.

It is projected to make a loss of £20,000 in the last financial year on its annual budget of nearly £800,000.

However, a report presented to the council's tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee said the service was continuing to improve open spaces with priorities for the coming year including a new masterplan for Stanley Park and development plans for other parks across the borough.

Current projects include

A new viewing area will be part of the upgrade at Stanley Park playground

An £80,000 investment in Stanley Park playground including upgrading of pathways, repairs to existing equipment and the addition of several new items-including an explorer dome, octo net and cliff rider. A disused growing space adjacent to the playground has been adapted to provide a viewing space in response to requests by park users.Work is expected to be completed by the end of April on a £225,000 new skate park at Stanley Park. Designs includes ramps, steps, quarter pipes, curbs and rails, finished in concrete and steel to provide a low-maintenance long lasting facility.At Boundary Park, on the Grange Park estate additional pathways have been-installed to create a circular route around the park. The next step is to create an improved multi-use games area, changing rooms and parking facilities.A new playing pitch plateau has been developed at Common Edge playing fields as part of the wider Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone including a 3G pitch and new changing room facilities. The grass pitches are now open.A new assault course is in place at Bispham Cliffs playground to replace equipment in a poor condition. Any equipment in a good condition has been transferred to Watson Road Park in South Shore.Gynn Sunken Gardens has received new equipment to replace a broken bridge.Plans are in place to improve and replace several items at Carr Road playground in Bispham.Ward funding has been received to help complete improvement works to the Revoe Community Garden with £16,000 to help purchase additional plants and upgrade tools with plans to hold forest school events for the community.