Appeal to help refurbishment at Jubilee Park

A complete refurbishment of the children's play park at Woodhall Spa's Jubilee Park and a longer swimming season are on the cards for next year.

Woodhall Spa EMN-160125-115739001
Woodhall Spa EMN-160125-115739001

But with no public funding coming in, the charitable trust that runs the park is reaching out to local organisations and businesses to help them complete the refurbishment project, alongside fundraising initiatives.

Members of the trust, who attended a recent AGM at the Petwood Hotel, were told that, for the third year running, the facility returned a modest surplus thanks to careful management, the support of the community and the success of new fundraising ideas.

However, the need to upgrade and replace assets such as the play equipment could soon swallow up any reserves.

Chairman Emma Brealey said: “We’re not just a platform for major events such as the 40s weekend, we’re here all the year round for all the community. No matter what their age or state of health.”

“In supporting us, the community is helping to provide a facility everyone can enjoy and benefit from.”

The free play park, used almost every day by local children and visitors, costs around £10,000 a year to run and maintain to the required standards. Replacement of the oldest equipment will cost in the region of £40,000.

Trustee Tim Peacock said: “We quite rightly have to meet stringent health, safety and annual maintenance inspections in the play area. It may not seem long to some of us since some of this equipment was new, but it’s heavily used and some is getting to the stage where it will be cheaper to replace than repair and maintain.”

The move to extend the swimming season through to the end of September in 2017 is likely to be a popular one, members were told. A number of swimming clubs and other regular users have been pressing for the extension and they will help to cover the extra costs.

Over the longer term, the trustees are committed to finding funding to refurbish the pool buildings and adding all-year-round health and fitness facilities.

The meeting heard there have already been inquiries by businesses, individuals and health professionals looking for studio and exercise space. Plans have been drawn up, but the stumbling block remains major funding.

Members’ and supporters’ packs, listing ways people can help the park, are available to download from the park website, and from the library.