Bid to create ‘central core’ in Palgrave with ‘creative’ and ‘exciting’ new play equipment

Play in Palgrave joint committee members, alongside the Tesco Community Team at the site. Photo: Mecha Morton
Play in Palgrave joint committee members, alongside the Tesco Community Team at the site. Photo: Mecha Morton

Plans are afoot in Palgrave to transform an open space into a “creative” and “exciting” new suite of activity play facilities in the village.

Palgrave Parish Council and Palgrave Community Council formed a working party in August 2015 in a bid to make that dream a reality.

Drawings of the proposed plans. Used with permission by Timberplay. ANL-160929-113927001

Drawings of the proposed plans. Used with permission by Timberplay. ANL-160929-113927001

A planning application for the project, dubbed Play in Palgrave, has been lodged with Mid Suffolk District Council. It would feature a 30m zip wire, a play tower, a vertical climbing net, platform house, small tractor and trailer, trampoline, picnic area and benches and a multi use games area (MUGA) at the village’s playing fields, at the community centre.

Elaine Bootman, a parish councillor who is heading up the working party, said it would help create a “central core” and focal point for the village, with market research held with children across the village, including pupils at Palgrave Primary School showing “overwhelming” support for improved facilities.

She added the focus for the project is to get the play equipment installed, expected to cost between £45,000-£50,000.

Adding the MUGA, independent of the play equipment, would require an additional £30,000.

There is a lot of young families in Palgrave and again, we do not have the support networks for them, so this is about the people, and getting people together

Elaine Bootman

“We really want to move it forward,” she said. “We have all this open space but nothing there.

“We have got quite an active community centre, and we have lots of events that go on there that all the village can access, but there is nothing for children unless we organise children’s event, and there is no central meeting point for after school or the weekends.

“There is a lot of young families in Palgrave and again, we do not have the support networks for them, so this is about the people, and getting people together.”

Fundraising is off to a positive start. The parish council has donated £3,500, a local businessman has given £2,500, Mid Suffolk District Councillor David Burn pledged £1,200 from his locality fund, local fundraising events have generated between £2,000 and £2,500, while village resident Phil Skipper ran this year’s London Marathon in aid of the project, raising £550.

It has also won the support of the Tesco store in Diss, which is assisting in fundraising the community project.

The existing equipment at the site would also be refurbished, some of which dating back 25 years, while the new would not encroach on the football pitch.

The plans are on display in Palgrave and District Community Centre. The application, 3409/16, can also be viewed online at www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning
If you are able to support or donate to the campaign, call 01379 640211 or email bootmane1@gmail.com For more on Play in Palgrave, visit www.pdcc.co.uk
n The next fundraising event is a fashion show, to be held at Palgrave Community Centre on October 7. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. It has been organised by Tesco, who will be showcasing their F&F range. Tickets are £5, with proceeds to Play in Palgrave.

n Running a fundraising campaign? Email editorial@dissexpress.co.uk or call us on 01379 658002