ILMINSTER NEWS: Play area enhancement will give town a lift

ILMINSTER NEWS: Play area enhancement will give town a lift

ILMINSTER Town Council is pleased to announce that the eagerly anticipated £350,000 upgrade of the playground play area at the Wharf Lane Recreation Ground – better known as Ilminster Recreation Ground - is finally going to start.

On October 12, 2020, phase one will begin with part of the play area park being closed to the public. It is expected to be closed for about a month.

A council spokesman said: “During this time, areas of the recreation area will be flattened and equipment removed during daylight hours.

“Around October 28, 2020, a delivery will be made via a large lorry and it will need to use the Orchard Vale access to enable the drop to take place onto the recreation ground.

“There is a possibility that during this time, access on Orchard Vale may be restricted.

Please rest assure that everything will be done to offload the equipment swiftly and to cause as minimal disruption during this time.”

The spokesman added: “The refurbishment of the playground has been long-awaited for the children of the town, and we are hoping that this will give the town a bit of a lift during these strange times.”

A fantastic play barge will become the focal point of the planned new refurbished and improved play area.

Designs have been drawn up for the project and include a play barge which will measure 20 metres in length, five metres wide and two-and-a-half metres high.

Importantly the play barge will be wheelchair accessible meaning it will be able to be used by all children.

The barge will include the play elements of a sand transport system, a sand table, a Sound Wall and a Kling Klang.

The Sound Wall will represent a real musical instrument and various different scales can be played on it, while the Kling Klang Disc will also produce fun sounds when used.

Costs for the overall project have been placed at £343,000 with money coming from the town council’s earmarked and revenue reserves and then repaid to budgets over a period of time. Repayment could be via a number of methods including grants and future Section 106 development funding.

The project has been in the council melting pot since 2015 and consultations have taken place in the past with children at Greenfylde First School and Swanmead Community School in Ilminster.

The council agreed to proceed with the project in late 2019, but the plans have been delayed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.