Becky Lambert (Creating Spaces), Alan Charles together with Jess Lever (Friends of New Mills Parks)
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles recently visited the volunteers behind an ambitious project to rejuvenate a community park.
Commissioner Charles met members of the Friends of New Mills Parks yesterday (22 March) for an update on its project to transform Bowden Crescent Park in Ollersett, New Mills, into a community park for local families to enjoy.
Last year, the PCC awarded the organisation with a £40,000 grant – the highest possible funding award – from his NICE (Neighbourhoods Investing Criminal Earnings) Fund to pay towards the refurbishment costs. The aim of the project is to create a safe and fun area for families and local youngsters to enjoy and help prevent antisocial behaviour.
The NICE fund, which has been distributed in grants of up to £40,000, is a proportion of the income confiscated from criminals in Derbyshire under the Proceeds of Crime Act. This legislation provides police officers with the powers to seize cash and recover the valuable assets that have been bought by criminals through their illegal profits including property, cars and jewellery.
The funding will be used to install new park equipment, picnic tables, benches and pedestrian gates.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Mr Charles was shown the plans for the project before work gets underway in September. He also presented a special plaque marking the NICE grant award.
Speaking ahead of the visit, he said: “I’m very much looking forward to hearing how the Friends of New Mills Parks are planning to breathe new life into this community area so that it can become a focus point for youngsters and residents wanting to socialise in the open air.
“This redevelopment project will give local residents another reason to be proud of their local community and will keep youngsters busy and active to help relieve the estate of any antisocial behaviour. I’m glad the project is coming to fruition after much hard work and fundraising by the committed volunteers.”
A parks audit of all play areas in New Mills was carried out in 2010 by a local community group, the New Mills Town Council and Children’s Centre. A questionnaire was sent to every local family for feedback on the parks.
People said they loved the locality of Bowden Crescent but suggested improvements were needed including updated equipment, maintenance work and for issues such as dog fouling and litter to be addressed.
As part of the project, a community-led art installation – designed and made by the residents’ themselves – will be built by Ollersett-based community art group Creating Spaces.
Local residents will be consulted in the coming weeks about what specific equipment they would like to be featured in the park.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 23rd March 2016