Following on from the success of the Middlewich Road Play area improvements we turned our attention to the Elm Drive Play area. The Elm Drive Play area is much larger, and hence provided more opportunities than the Middlewich Road Play area.
This project was undertaken in partnership with Holmes Chapel Parish council. A questionnaire was distributed to houses on the eastern side of the village (as well as the two primary schools) in March 2014 to seek residents opinions on what was needed. The results indicated not only a need for children's play equipment, but also equipment for teenagers in addition to the playing 'field'. For adults, there is an appetite for a outdoor fitness facility - which could include outdoor gym equipment and an exercise track. There was also a request from local residents to improve the general area surrounding the formal play area.
A project team, comprising representatives from the Partnership, Parish Council, residents and Cheshire East Ward Councillors was formed to look at what might be possible, and how this could be funded.
Subsequently, and following public consultation on suggested improvements, the project team were offered 6 new pieces of equipment (valued at approximately £70,000) - many of them unseen elsewhere - free of charge by the manufacturer (HAGS-SMP) on the understanding that the project team funded the cost of installation and any other pieces of equipment. This was readily agreed and the project went ahead:
All the old equipment apart from the toddler swings were removed.
The approach path from Elm Drive was resurfaced
The six 'free' play items were installed, plus a Multi Use Games Area (on the edge of the football pitch) - paid for by the Parish Council
The toddler swings were repainted
The football pitch was levelled and the grass reseeded
The play area was reopened officially by Fiona Bruce, MP, in July 2015 and has been well used since. Subsequently two picnic benches have been supplied and installed by the manufacturer as compensation for the installation issues which delayed the opening.