10/02/17: Proposed £75k play area and outdoor gym receives funding boost from Breckland

10 February 2017

A proposed new play area and outdoor gym in Mattishall is a step closer after the district council agreed to put £20,000 towards the £75,000 project.

Councillors on Breckland Council's Cabinet have given their approval to a match funding bid from Mattishall Parish Council. The parish council plans to use the money to create a brand new activity area for people of all ages in the centre of the village. The site was formerly occupied by an old school building, until it was demolished in 2013.

When the project goes ahead, the play area will feature nine pieces of children's play equipment aimed at youngsters aged from toddlers to teenagers. In addition, four pieces of adult gym equipment, an all-weather table tennis table and some benches will be put in place.

The project will cost around £75k and the decision by Breckland Council means the Parish Council has now secured 84% of the necessary funding. The Play Area Committee had already raised around £43,000 of the needed funds, including £12,000 from Mattishall Parish Council and almost £10,000 from the Breckland Outdoor Sport and Play Fund, which is administered by Breckland Council.

Other funding has come from village fundraising activities, donations and grants from Tesco Bags of Help, Shelroy Charitable Trust, Penny Cress Foundation, Paul Bassham Charitable Trust, AVIVA and The Rank Foundation. The Parish Council is currently awaiting decisions on bids submitted to a range of organisations, which it hopes will enable it to soon secure the remaining £12,000 needed.

Dr David Piper, on behalf of Mattishall Parish Council, commented: "The Play Area committee have worked very enthusiastically at fundraising. This extensive project will breathe new life into the former school site and benefit everybody in the village, young and old alike. After the school building was demolished we held a consultation with local people and this was a really popular choice, so I'm pleased we have now taken a big step forward in realising that vision."

Cllrs Paul Claussen and Pablo Dimoglou, Breckland Council Ward Members for Mattishall, added: "We want Breckland to develop and thrive and always look for ways in which we can support cohesive communities. We are therefore delighted that the council is able to provide financial backing for this significant project, which will bring together people in the village from all generations to share and enjoy a brand new recreation area for years to come. The parish council work tirelessly to bring exciting schemes like this to fruition and it is wonderful to see what an engaged community can achieve."