Community push to fund Hatfield playground in full swing

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 December 2018

The deteriorating state of the playground in the Ellenbrook recreation area has led residents to fund raise for its upgrade.

The deteriorating state of the playground in the Ellenbrook recreation area has led residents to fund raise for its upgrade.

Archant

A community push to fund a new playground in Hatfield is in full swing, with plans drawn up and a lobbying for support ongoing.

The deteriorating state of the playground in the Ellenbrook recreation area has led residents to fund raise for its upgrade.The deteriorating state of the playground in the Ellenbrook recreation area has led residents to fund raise for its upgrade.

As restoration work on the disused ‘ghost station’ Nast Hyde Halt on Alban Way nears completion and visitor numbers to the site increase, a project to upgrade the adjacent Ellenbrook play and recreation area to cater to more children and adults has gained momentum.

Community charity Groundwork has drawn plans for the project, estimated to cost £94,000, which includes a wheelchair swing, pendulum swing, zip wire and trampoline for the playground as well as a basketball hoop, football goals and new benches.

It is hoped a basketball hoop, football goals, new benches and adult outdoor gym equipment will be installed in the recreation ground outside the playground area.

The design also has a railway theme to complement the Nast Hyde Halt work, which began in early 2015.

The deteriorating state of the playground in the Ellenbrook recreation area has led residents to fund raise for its upgrade.The deteriorating state of the playground in the Ellenbrook recreation area has led residents to fund raise for its upgrade.

Nast Hyde Halt station master Mike Izzard and the Ellenbrook Area Residents Association (EARA) are at the heart of efforts to raise money and lobby for support to help fund the project, with some funds already committed.

“It would be lovely if we can pull all of this off because when you make your way down from St Albans, you’ve only got one chance to make a fist impression and that’s the first thing that you see coming into town,” Mr Izzard said.

Some of the equipment in the “derelict” playground was removed in January after it was deemed unsafe.

Mr Izzard has run several fundraisers, such as open days, for the ongoing station restoration with some of the £12,000 in donations he has received put aside for the playground project.

A page has been set up on crowdfunding website JustGiving for people who wish to donate.

Once the station work is completed, it is hoped by June next year, all subsequent donations will be funnelled into the playground fund.

The finish touch will be a feature installation of 30ft of full size railway track.

In the meantime, now a cost figure has been established, EARA, Mr Izzard and residents are approaching organisations and exploring other funding avenues.

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