Officers from the parks development and leisure teams have been working with Newton and Clifton Parish Council and the Friends of Newton Community Park on a parks improvement scheme at School Lane, Newton. The team have been working on the project for a couple of years and are taking the proposals through the 10 stage community parks development/improvement process (shown below).

The proposed scheme has been split into 3 phases, to be undertaken over several years. This capital bid relates to phase 1 which includes improvement to the children’s play area, fenced sports area and sensory garden. Several public consultation exercises have been undertaken and a masterplan has been produced by the parks development team based on the consultation results. A detailed drainage survey has also been carried out.

The project is now at stage 7 of the 10-stage process for the community park’s development/improvement. The team have estimated the cost of phase 1 to be around £100,000. The team have submitted a funding bid to the Lancashire Environmental Fund for a £30,000 grant. The Parish Council will contribute £15,000 in addition to another £5,000 to be raised from other small external grants and community fundraising.

Ten stage process for the development/improvement

  1. Set up a supporters group (Friends group with a constitution)
  2. Apply to Fylde Council for officer support to assist with the project
  3. Initial consultation with the group, local residents and users to produce a design brief based on community need.
  4. Produce 3 concept drawings based on the design brief
  5. Consult/agree/produce a final Masterplan for the scheme
  6. Cost the project up in sections (Bill of Quantities and specifications)
  7. Prepare a funding strategy
  8. Tender and evaluation (with community)
  9. Project Management
  10. Open Event / Future use /Maintenance

Officers have been asked by the Parish Council and Friends of Newton Community Park, if they could make an application to Fylde Council for a £50,000 capital contribution towards the project in 2021/22.  This application is made on the condition that the community group raise £50,000 in match funding as described above. The result of the funding application to the Lancashire Environmental Fund will be known in April 2021. The Parish council and Friends of Newton Community Park understand and accept that the capital contribution of £50,000 from Fylde council will only be made available for this project if the match funding of £50,000 is secure by the Friends.

Councillor Cheryl Little, Chair of the Tourism and Leisure Committee said “Fylde Council are a champion in supporting community’s working together and I am delighted to see this project initiated. Newton & Clifton Parish Council and Friends of Newton Community Park have come together to work on a 10 stage development and improvement plan for this park and I look forward to seeing the project progress”.