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Give £5 to park funds, Oakworth parents urged
Village parents are each being asked to pay £5 towards new play areas in the local park.
The plea has been issued by a campaigning mum after efforts to obtain funding from Bradford Council failed.
Donations from hundreds of families could kickstart efforts to build a children’s playground and teenagers’ games area at Oakworth.
Jo Spencer says £8,250 is needed by November in order to apply for a £65,000-plus grant from an outside funding body.
The “matched funding” is essential if she is to apply for bigger grants from environmental funding bodies like Wren.
Mother-of-two Jo has gathered more than 380 signatures on a petition blasting the “disgusting” state of the playground in Oakworth’s Holden Park.
She said: “I feel like everyone is in support of the playground, but they say ‘do it yourself’. They’ve said ‘start your own fundraising’.
“Getting £8,000 is the stumbling block. The application needs to be in by November.
“Nearly 400 people are supporting me, so if they each give me a fiver or a tenner that would raise a few thousand pounds. People pay that to go to soft-play centres.”
Jo has suggested upgrading the traditional children’s area and providing a new multi-use games area on the old tennis courts.
Bradford Council has estimated the cost of such a scheme would be around £75,000.
Jo said she was appalled at the playground’s condition when those in nearby villages have had thousands of pounds of improvements in recent years.
She said many parents told her they preferred driving their children to nearby villages than using their own park.
She said: “We have the potential of a fantastic, beautiful and safe park right on our doorstep.
“It is obvious that Oakworth Park is in great need of restoration. It is a unique park, yet it is the only park in the local area that has not had its play areas updated.”
Jo has discussed potential playground ideas with the Friends of Holden Park and council recreation officers. The Friends plan to consult children at local groups and during events in the park, with the results inspiring detailed designs.
At a meeting last Thursday, Jo asked the council’s Keighley Area Committee to support her plan. Members did not agree to provide funding, but said once the playground plans were finalised, they could be considered for possible inclusion in any district-wide play-park strategy.
To donate to the appeal, contact Jo on 07767 480453 or firstname.lastname@example.org