£248k funding hope for upgrade at park
PLANS for an upgrade to a community park in Skewen, which was denied Heritage Lottery funding last year, are still going ahead.
Coedffranc Community Council is pressing on with plans to refurbish Skewen Park, and is currently putting together a proposal for £248,000 of grants.
Councillor Ian Whitehead Ross, who is putting the application together, updated members on the work in a meeting last week.
"Last year, an application began for the Heritage Lottery fund of £1.5 million," he said.
"Unfortunately, that application didn't progress because the fund felt there was too much new build and not enough refurbished apart from the gates which I believe date back to 1926.
"But two weeks ago, madam chair, the clerk and I met Paul Hinder, from the borough council, to discuss a Big Lottery fund application. In this application, we would apply for £248,000 for a new play ground."
The council went out to consultation to the community in June last year, later holding a public meeting too.
It was found that there was strong support for improving the children's playground in the park following the distribution of 5,000 leaflets and the meeting. A focus group with youngsters aged nine to 14 was also held in the community and requests were made for separate playgrounds for under and over fives.
In November 2012 consultation events were also held in schools in the Coedffranc area, where the majority of children said their favourite place to play was the park and playground.
Mr Whitehead Ross added that resurfacing of the tennis courts and the demolition and rebuild of toilets with disabled access would also feature in proposals in the application.
"The proposal is almost finished," he said.
But councillor Arthur Davies said he was concerned if the application went in too early, it would effect a decision on grant applications for a skate park in the same area. The decision for funding for that is imminent.
Councillors agreed to look at the final proposals for the Big Lottery grant at next month's meeting.