Village play-park funding joy

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 29 February 2024

A Saddleworth village is celebrating funding to improve and upgrade facilities at the community’s only play park.

The industrious Dobcross Village Community initially laid out an expression of interest to the Oldham Local Improvement Fund last year.

The bid was finalised and submitted backed by submissions from Christine Wilson, Community Development Officer, East District Team, and Councillor Luke Lancaster.

Now, with almost £30,000 awarded to playground improvements, the iniative has been praised as a true community team effort.

Carole Bell, the proud DVC chair, said: “For quite some now, on behalf of the whole community, we had been working diligently towards our aim of providing improved amenities and/ or upgrade the existing facilities in our only playpark.

“DVC noted there were several aspects of the park which needed significant improvement and we were delighted to obtain the support of  Liz Travis, Headteacher at Holy Trinity CE School, and the FODS Committee (Friends of Dobcross School)..  

“Expression of Interest was submitted to Oldham LIF (Local Improvement Fund) at the end of October and was accepted.  

“The full bid was finalised and submitted at the end of January, to Christine Wilson and Councillor Luke Lancaster for their additional submissions.

"DVC are indebted to both for their help in ensuring our bid met the criteria for acceptance.

“Several parents - and children - also added their own letters of support and we were able to provide a comprehensive catalogue of requests to evidence the need for a significant upgrade for all the children and families in our village, and visitors to our area, too.  

“DVC are extremely grateful to every individual who responded so positively to our request for confirmation.

"Improvements were necessary to provide a safe and welcoming area for children to meet and develop through their socialising and play.”

Ms Bell added: “It is anticipated the improvements will commence soon and DVC will provide any updates as we receive them.”

Councillor Luke Lancaster said: “After our application fell at the final hurdle in the last LIF round, I am delighted we have now successfully secured the funds for these playground improvements on the second attempt. 

“It has been a pleasure to work alongside the community on this proposal for the past year and once delivered, the park will become an even better place for children and young families to enjoy.

“I would like to record my appreciation to all Dobcross residents for their contributions and support,” he added.

Headteacher at Holy Trinity CE primary school, Liz Travis, said: ”Congratulations to the DVC for their successful submission to gain the much-needed improvements to the park playground. 

"This is a wonderful community resource very much valued by the families at the school, and we are very excited about the upcoming plans to improve the park.    

“The children are looking forward to being able to use the new park and enjoy the equipment both in and out of school time.  

“Thank you so much for everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen, it is very much appreciated by everyone at school.”

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