Two environmental projects given generous grants for improvements

The team from Fratton Big Local celebrate after being awarded �75,000 for improvements to Kingston Recreation Ground. From left, Keith Roberts, Becci Coghlan and Andrew Williams Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161253-1)
The team from Fratton Big Local celebrate after being awarded �75,000 for improvements to Kingston Recreation Ground. From left, Keith Roberts, Becci Coghlan and Andrew Williams Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161253-1)

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TWO parks are set for major revamps thanks to grants of thousands of pounds.

Kingston Recreation Ground in Fratton is set for a landmark transformation funded by a £75,000 boost from the Veolia Environmental Trust.

And accessibility issues for disabled visitors to the Billy’s Lake green space in Waterlooville will be addressed by a £43,000 grant.

They are two of the 25 community and environmental projects to benefit from grants totalling £989,000.

Lottery partnership group Fratton Big Local will install a play area at the Kingston Recreation Ground, as well as features including a green gym and table tennis tables. Wooded areas will be modified with trails and new trees.

Partnership board member Dr Andrew Williams said: ‘This work will benefit the whole community, creating a public space where people of all ages can keep fit, have fun, relax and learn about nature.

‘This grant is a real boost for us and means we are one step closer to reaching our goal.’

Wecock Community Association has already started building an all-weather path at the 10-acre Billy’s Lake area, which is opposite the new West of Waterlooville development.

The path will enable people with mobility difficulties to enjoy the lake at all times of the year.

Roger Pulley, a volunteer at the Billy’s Lake Steering Group, said: ‘Although the area is popular, accessing it when the ground is wet is near impossible.

‘The new path will let visitors of all abilities access the lake and its surrounds all-year-round.

‘This grant is great news for us and we can now look forward to starting work.’

Veolia has awarded a total of £11m to 278 projects in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight since 1997.

Paul Taylor, executive director of the Veolia Environmental Trust, says that Fratton Big Local and the Wecock Community Association should be congratulated for securing grants ‘in a very competitive environment’.

He said: ‘It is clear that these projects will make a real difference to these public spaces and the experience of people who used and enjoy them. I look forward to hearing about them starting.’