Get your skates on! New £160,000 skate park and play area opens in Friday Bridge after seven year campaign

The opening of a new play park in Friday Bridge. Photo: Submitted

The opening of a new play park in Friday Bridge. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Youngsters are enjoying a summer of fun after a £160,000 play area and skate park has opened in Friday Bridge after seven years of campaigning.

The opening of a new play park in Friday Bridge. Photo: Submitted

The opening of a new play park in Friday Bridge. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

The state-of-the-art park at Maltmas Drove was officially opened on the last day of the school term to the delight of children, parents and local representatives.

More than 50 people turned out for its official unveiling, with villagers joining project partners as excited pupils finished school and tried out the equipment for the first time.

Designed and installed by specialist manufacturer HAGS, the eagerly awaited play park features something for all ages including a zip wire and climbing frame inspired by the village’s Water Tower and a toddler zone for younger visitors.

There’s also a skate park and multi-use games area to play various sports, an overhead carousel and various swings, as well as new landscaped picnic areas.

And being added to the park soon is a bespoke play tractor and outdoor adult fitness equipment.

Councillor Will Sutton, who campaigned for the park along with fellow district Councillor Michelle Tanfield, explained that the project started back in 2011 when two young boys attended an Elm Parish Council meeting to ask for better play equipment locally.

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Without a suitable site available in Elm, the project gathered pace in 2014 when proposals to create a park in nearby Friday Bridge went out to public consultation and was supported by North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay.

Cllr Sutton said: “It’s been a long time coming but now it’s finally here and the children absolutely love it! The facilities are fantastic.”

Cllr Tanfield added: “It’s great to see the children getting so much out of the park already. I hope it will be enjoyed and looked after for many years to come.”

The park was made possible thanks to £77,000 from Fenland District Council’s former Rural Capital Grants Fund and £20,000 from Section 106 developer agreements, along with a grant of £50,000 from WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund and £12,500 from Elm Parish Council.

Cheryl Raynor, WREN’s grant manager for Cambridgeshire, said: “It’s wonderful to see something we have funded finally open and ready to make such a difference to young people and families. WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and this is a great example of what can be achieved.”

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