Pupils open play space

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page - chris.gee@reach­plc.com @RossFreePress CHRIS GEE

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

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