Improving park play for all

First published in News Northwich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

CHANGES are in store at a Northwich park in a bid to help children play, teenagers explore their artistic side and adults to keep fit.

A number of plans are in the pipeline for Vickersway Park, also known as Roker Park, including new play equipment for children, free gym equipment for adults and an art project to make more of the skate park.

Pupils from Witton Church Walk CE Primary School and Victoria Road Primary School have chosen new children’s play equipment and will be involved in this £12,000 part of the project, led by Northwich Town Council, from start to finish.

They will watch their equipment being made at the factory and learn about the design and engineering process, they will watch it being installed at the park and then be part of the official opening with town mayor Clr George Mainwaring.

Chris Shaw, the council’s operations manager, said: “We decided get the kids involved because they’re the ones who are going to be using it and they love getting involved, they’re really interested and looking forward to going to the factory.”

The new equipment should be installed early in the New Year.

Northwich Town Council also wants to take out its current adult gym equipment, which becomes unusable in winter months, and install new equipment in the enclosed grass tennis court.

Chris said: “The court is accessible all year round because it’s got good drainage and doesn’t get much use.

“The sports equipment would be accessible 12 months of the year wheras the tennis court is only used for six to eight weeks.

“We will still have two hard core tennis courts available 12 months of the year.”

He added: “At the moment the gym equipment is in full view of everyone and if we’re encouraging people to get fit, some people are quite reluctant to do it with an audience – this court is enclosed.”

The council is also teaming up with Mid Cheshire College to create murals for the sides of the skate ramps in a bid to reduce graffiti and cut cleaning costs.

Chris said: “At the moment the ramps are cleaned once or twice a week because of graffiti and when we take the graffiti off it brings the non-slip paint off and we have to repaint it, which adds to the costs.

“Hopefully this will reduce graffiti and give the art students chance to show what they can do.”

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