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Joy as £50k playground opens

PUBLISHED: 11:43 24 February 2015

Official opening of Barrow play area. Left to right, Eloisa Manton and Katie Gleave.

Official opening of Barrow play area. Left to right, Eloisa Manton and Katie Gleave.

A group of dedicated parents have celebrated the opening of a £50,000 village playground in Barrow after nearly two years of fundraising.

It has now opened three months ahead of schedule, replacing the old and unsuitable play area next to the village hall.

The original play area was built 12 years ago, but an expanding population meant it was no longer up to scratch.

Lisa Gleave, chairman of the Barrow Community Play Project, a sub-committee of the Barrow village hall management committee, led the project.

She said: “It has been open for a month and the feedback we are getting from parents and the children themselves is amazing. It is very rewarding to see the play area so busy even at this time of the year.

“The local community has considered for some time that the existing play equipment required updating and no longer served its purpose.

“Action Play and Leisure in Norfolk, designed and installed the play area and they have created a wonderful community space.

“We are very grateful to all our funders. We would also like to thank Barrow cum Denham Parish Council and the village hall management committee for their support.”

The fundraising target was pushed across the line thanks to £1,500 from St Edmundsbury borough councillor Ian Houlder, and £10,000 from the borough council’s Rural Initiative Grant Scheme.

Mr Houlder, who represents the Barrow ward on the council, said: “The playground is already proving very popular. The group of parents have steered this project from the outset and in just over 18 months they have secured the funds and had the new play area built. It is very impressive. I am delighted that as local ward councillor I was able to contribute towards this through my local grant.

“This pot of money was set up to help families and communities to help themselves, as they have done here in Barrow.”

The project was supported by businesses and charities from across the area, including Havebury Housing Partnership, Asda Foundation, Suffolk Foundation, Suffolk County Council, county councillor Terry Clements and The Ganzoni Charitable Trust.

Estate agents Mortimer and Gausden donated £100 for every property they sold in Barrow during 2014, while Glasswells and Waitrose also contributed.

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