Bedhampton play area will be transformed with £30,000 grant

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A CHILDREN’S play area is to be given a £30,000 revamp after campaigners won a public vote to be awarded the cash.

Bidbury Mead Recreation Ground in Bedhampton will receive the money from the national campaign, Transform Your Patch, which was sponsored by Britvic.

It asked entrants to come up with plans showing how the cash would benefit their area, and the winner was chosen via a public poll.

The Bidbury Mead Friends (BMF) project group will get the funds next year, and discussions are already taking place about how they should be spent.

Ron Tate, project manager for BMF, said: ‘We are delighted to have won and can’t wait to get things started.

‘The money will be used to replace equipment in the park with new equipment that has been specially designed.

‘It has to suit the way children want to play in today’s world and be robust enough for all ages.’

In a bid to discover what sort of equipment children would like to see in the park, BMF and Gosport-based environmental charity Groundwork will hold a number of workshops with youngsters in the area. These sessions will ask the youngsters how they like to play – for example do they like to run, hop, or jump, and do they like to play alone or with friends – to help decide how to design the play area.

‘There’s a lot more to play these days than there was in the past,’ Mr Tate added. ‘It’s no longer the case that you just pick from a list of singular items like swings or a roundabout.

‘Children like to play on pieces of equipment that interlink and things they can use their imagination to play with, rather than just a singular item, like a slide, on its own. There’s lots of great equipment out there just now, but we’re yet to see what the children of Bedhampton want in their park.’

For months Britvic has been advertising Transform Your Patch on all of its brand bottles.

The Britvic total was £25,000 and £5,000 was match funded. Twelve areas were chosen.

Councillor David Collins, in charge of environment at Havant Borough Council, said: ‘I’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to vote for this local facility.’