Cash appeal to save play park

SAD FACES: Parents and youngsters at the children's play area forced to shut on safety grounds. SG090713-027AM
SAD FACES: Parents and youngsters at the children's play area forced to shut on safety grounds. SG090713-027AM
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Hundreds of South Holland kids face disappointment in the summer holidays now one of the area’s most popular adventure playgrounds has shut on safety grounds.

Bosses at Glen Park, Surfleet, are nearly £4,000 short of the cash they need to do urgent repairs at the children’s playground and it has been padlocked since Thursday.

Today we are kick-starting a cash appeal with a £500 donation from The Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund – and are asking you if you can help the play area re-open.

Rylatt Ford boss James Rylatt pitched in with a £1,000 donation from his Pinchbeck based company and he’s appealing for other business leaders to follow suit.

James, who lives in Surfleet, has sons Ned (3) and Tom (2) and says they “love the place to bits”.

He said: “Having a facility of that calibre in such a small village, it seems a great shame that – for a reasonably small amount of money – it has got to be closed.”

The play area sees around 30,000 visits every year from children, who come from villages across South Holland.

Gosberton grandad Paul Winwright took his grandson there on Sunday.

Paul said: “This closure resulted in a lot tears from my grandson. I am trying to explain why he could not use it.”

Repairs to the play area will cost just over £13,700, but some cash is already pledged.

Work needs to be done on the Everest Tower, including its platforms, the zip wire on the aerial runway needs replacing and the safety overhaul includes replacing play bark and safety surfacing.

A Glen Park spokesman said they asked for £11,970 from the county and district councils’ community grant fund – £7,980 from Lincolnshire County Council and £3,990 from the district – and both said ‘no’.

But, since the closure, the county council has had a change of heart and is stumping up the £7,980, which he understands will only be paid if the rest of the cash is found.

He said: “The district council said they had run out of funds.”

The spokesman said yesterday: “I have just spoken with the play equipment suppliers who say they are currently committed for the next two to three weeks, so even if we were in a position to place an order in the next couple of days, it’s unlikely that the play area could re-open by the start of the school holidays.

“The problem is that all of the timber components have to be sent away to be pressure treated, which takes about two weeks.”

Donations have also come from councillors Sally Slade, James Avery and Elizabeth Sneath and Surfleet Parish Council is giving £500.

• If you can help the play area re-open – even with a small donation – please make out your cheques to The Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund, marked ‘play area’ on the back, and send them to us at: Lincolnshire Free Press/Spalding Guardian, Priory House, The Crescent, Spalding PE11 1AB.