Pupils open play space
ANEW open air community space and playground has been officially opened in Waterfoot, with hopes high that it will be used for a variety of events.
Mayor of Rossendale Coun Ann Kenyon cut the ribbon to open the area, off Woodlea Road, and was joined by dozens of pupils from Waterfoot Primary School.
They helped with the design of the area and their artwork has literally been set in stone with some specially designed paving stones at the edge of the play area.
Coun Kenyon said: “It gives me great joy to open the area and see the happy faces of the children enjoying it.
“If they look after this area it will look after them.
“The space on the other side of the playground is ideal for holding many kinds of community gatherings such as the lantern parade and I’ve heard people talking about the possibility of a farmers’ market.
“It’s a real asset for the people of Waterfoot.”
A consultation about what to do with the formerly derelict site close to the bus station was carried out in 2016 by community funding company Proffitts and Rossendale council.
The overwhelming con- sensus was that the area needed a play area as well as a space for community events.
Proffitts drew up initial designs and applied for grant funding which later resulted in the project being given £40,000 of planning contribution proceeds from the development of Whitewell Court, £30,000 from the Lancashire Environmental Fund and £48,000 from Viridor Credits.
The Mayor also thanked Stacksteads Countryside Park Group who helped out from the beginning of the project, and community group Waterfoot Forward who donated a date stone and the history information for an inter- pretation panel.
The site’s contractors O’Callaghan Civil Engineering built the area and Sutcliffe Play designed and produced the play equipment.
Jill Short, a teacher at Waterfoot Primary, said: “The children have been involved in many aspects of the community space and the flagstones will be a permanent reminder of that.
“I’m sure it will be well used by children from the school.”
Eight-year-old Waterfoot Primary School pupil Cain Ainsworth was in no doubt about whether it would be a success.
He said: “It’s brilliant. I’m going to be down here whenever I can.”
‘It gives me great joy to open the area and see the happy faces of the children enjoying it’
●● Above: Chloe Cronshaw, three, and right the Mayor of Rossendale Coun Ann Kenyon with pupils at the opening of the Community Space