Funding to improve Chichester community park

Swanfield Park in Chichester is set for improvements (photo from Google Maps Street View)
Swanfield Park in Chichester is set for improvements (photo from Google Maps Street View)

A senior officer at Chichester District Council has released £40,000 to help fund a new outdoor gym and children’s play area at Swanfield Community Park.

The project recently secured £25,500 from the government’s Pocket Park Plus fund – but work had to start by April 1 or the money would be lost.

With no time to run the decision past the cabinet, ‘urgency’ powers laid out in the council’s constitution were used to officially accept the money.

In addition, £40,000 of Section 106 cash was released to the Swanfield Park Residents Involvement Group, known as SPRING, which is running the project with the support of the A2Dominion housing group.

The money came from contributions made to the council following development work east of the East Walls – £13,800 – and at the Rousillon Barracks – £26,200.

The old play area is around 15 years old and made of wood, meaning some of the posts beneath the ground were beginning to rot, making the equipment unsafe for children.

Dele Ryder, of A2Dominion, said the work on the new play area and the outdoor gym should be complete in time for the summer.

At a meeting of the cabinet, Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for community services, explained the need for urgency.

Mrs Lintill said: “In order to meet the timescales and to enable Swanfield Community Park to commence the project, an urgent decision had to be made.

“I think it’s really good news for Swanfield Community Park. I think it’s great that they got the government funding and I think it’s fantastic we could help them out with S106 funding.

“Hopefully it will really rejuvenate – or help continue to rejuvenate – this part of the city.”