Bright future ahead for Helston play area
7:20am Wednesday 31st October 2012 in News
It hasn't exactly been child's play but now Bulwark Residents' Group is at long last looking at a successful conclusion to its play equipment project.
Members have raised in the region of £36,000 to fund a play area for a piece of empty ground on Bulwark Road, which until now has only been used for the occasional kick-about.
Soon, however, it will be filled with slides, swings, roundabouts and a climbing frame as part of regeneration of the area funded by the residents themselves.
Through a series of fundraising events over the last two years - and with a little help from SITA, Helston Downsland Trust and the town council - members of the residents' association are now waiting with excitement for the play equipment to be installed. This is expected to take place in the early part of next year.
Julia Eddy, chairman of the residents' group, said: “We're all very excited. I think a lot of people have been thinking all along that it wouldn't happen. There's a small group of people that are the backbone of the operation, but the local residents pull together - they donate things and they are interested.
“The area is quite run down and has a bit of a bad reputation, but actually it's nothing like its old reputation. It's changed a lot and the park was the last thing that needed doing.”
The playground design was chosen by the children and their parents, with more than 70 people looking at the designs at a special chosen day.
Seven proposals were whittled down to two, which were then offered to residents to choose from.
Cornwall Councillor Andy Wallis, which has been leading the project on behalf of the council that owns the land, said: “Both the final two bids were great, so it was always going to be difficult to pick a winner. It was close, with the winning bid from Proludic having 39 votes, with the runner-up Hags having 32 votes.
“The equipment will be ordered very soon, and as soon as the equipment arrives work will start on the new park.”
He thanked Cornwall Council's procurement team, Cormac and the environment department for helping the residents in the process, as well as the organisations that gave grants.
This is only the start of the improvements that residents want to make, however.
Originally the cost of the project stood at almost £80,000, but residents realised they would not be able to raise that in one go.
Now a similar amount to that which they have just raised is needed to fund a planned sports area, which will include football goals, a basketball hoop and high fencing to prevent balls from hitting neighbouring houses.
To help get them on their way residents will have a stall in the Guildhall during the Helston Christmas lights switch on, on November 30.