The Strutt Memorial Ground in Hatfield Peverel has benefitted from refurbishment and improvements thanks to £265,000 of funding from Section 106 contributions.
The play area has recently been upgraded with new inclusive play equipment and facilities, creating a more enjoyable experience for local communities. This includes a wheelchair-accessible roundabout, basket swing, play panels for sensory play, sit in springer and a brand-new play unit with tunnels, slides and a climbing tower.
Old paving slabs and surfacing were also removed to create a fully surfaced, smooth play area that can be accessed all year around.
Residents and visitors will also benefit from a new outdoor gym with a variety of adjustable equipment suitable for all fitness levels, including exercise bikes, leg press, cross trainer alongside other facilities. A new path has also been installed that connects the nearby car park to the gym area to create easier access for users.
Gym users including wheelchair users, and residents with rehabilitation needs, can download a free app which will provide a video demonstration of exercises by scanning a QR code on site, including workout programmes to follow and allows users to track activities and progress.
The opening ceremony, organised by Hatfield Peverel Parish Council, took place on Saturday 9th September who were joined by Fatima Whitbread MBE and GB gymnast Courtney Tulloch, Ian Twinley, MBE Deputy Lieutenant of Essex, health and wellbeing organisations and the Chairman of Braintree District Council Cllr Diana Garrod.
Hatfield Peverel Parish Council has been working with Braintree District Council to spend Section 106 contributions from a number of housing developments in the village, including Mulberry Green, Bury Lane, Hatfield Grove, Station Road and Mortimer Place, Gleneagles Way.
Cllr Gabrielle Spray, Cabinet Member for Planning and Infrastructure at Braintree District Council, said: “Credit must go to Hatfield Peverel Parish Council who have led on this fantastic project and worked with their supplier to deliver the scheme. The planning process plays a key role in helping to enhance community facilities on a wider level and this is a prime example of that. While new homes are needed across the Braintree district, it’s important that the benefits are felt by communities at large, not just those who will be living in new developments.”
Cllr James Coleridge and Cllr Charley Dervish, ward councillors for Hatfield Peverel, said: “This new play and gym area will bring a new lease of life to the park and will be extremely beneficial to the whole Hatfield Peverel community. It’s great to see the play equipment is inclusive so all children can enjoy it.”
Cllr Mark Weale, Chairman of Hatfield Peverel Parish Council, said: "We are delighted to unveil our new, state-of-the-art outdoor gym facility and children's play area, the culmination of years of diligent effort and community consultation and support. It is truly rewarding to witness this project come to fruition. Our hope is that these facilities will not only promote health and wellbeing in our community, but also provide a space where families can come together, enjoy the outdoors and create lasting memories."