Residents and families in Chesterfield are set to benefit from a £1.32 million investment in the borough’s parks, green spaces and play spaces as part of new five-year plan to further improve facilities for local people.
The Parks, Open Spaces and Play Delivery Plan (2023 to 2028) sets out Chesterfield Borough Council’s commitment to making sure local communities continue to have access to modern and well-maintained spaces for leisure and play, and to support people’s health and wellbeing.
Approved by the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 14 March, the plan builds on the significant investment in parks and green spaces over the last five years – and also sets out measures to help achieve the council’s target to create a carbon neutral borough by 2050.
Over the course of the five-year programme, communities will benefit from 18 enhanced youth and play spaces, and the council also aims to double the number of its sites that are acknowledged by the prestigious Green Flag Award – an international quality mark for parks and green spaces.
Projects to be delivered over the coming year include:
- Improvements to play areas at Stand Road Park, Highfield Park, Ringwood Park, Cottage Close, Devonshire Avenue North, Thirlmere Road and Tapton Park.
- The full renovation of the circular footpath at Poolsbrook Country Park which, at 165 acres, is Chesterfield’s largest park with miles of trails, extensive woodland plantations, meadows, lakes, children’s play areas and wildlife habits.
As the delivery plan progresses over the next five years communities will also see improvements to youth and place spaces at Pennine Way, Hartington Recreational Ground, Wickins Place, Stanford Way, Barnes Road, Heathervale Road, Manor Road (youth), Somersall Park (youth), West Crescent, Damon Drive and Canal Wharf.
Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Chesterfield boasts a range of fantastic parks, play areas and green spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy and we recognise just how important and valued they are for everyone in our communities.
“We also understand that having an opportunity to play and explore the outdoors is hugely important for developing both physical and social skills, so we want to provide as many opportunities for residents to do this as we can.
“It’s our aim to create a variety of sustainable spaces that provide people of all ages and abilities with accessible, quality, and fun opportunities for play.
“We are really proud to provide good quality parks and play spaces in our community, and this investment will help us to continue to achieve this. Last year was a record-breaking year for us, with five of our parks being recognised with the prestigious Green Flag Award – and we’re hoping to double this over the next five years so more of our spaces can be formally acknowledged.
“Last year also saw our beautiful green spaces, colourful floral displays and innovative community projects earn the borough a top accolade in the prestigious East Midlands In Bloom competition. We were officially crowned the winner of the ‘Small City’ category in September, the first time we have scooped the sought-after award and we can’t wait to build on this success over the next five years.
“Our parks and green spaces were a lifeline during Covid-19 and have continued to offer opportunities for people to walk, play and chat. As loneliness is reported to be on the increase, our green spaces are a vital resource in the drive to combat loneliness and isolation.”
The views of local people have helped shape the council’s plan for investment, following a public consultation on two new strategies – the parks and open spaces, and play strategies – last year. The aim is to make sure local facilities meet the needs of local communities now and in the future.
The Parks, Open Spaces and Play Delivery Plan is being part-funded by £158,500 from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).
It will also draw on funding from a range of sources including the Community Infrastructure Levy, section 106 agreements and Landfill Tax grants.
More information about plans for specific sites – and what improvements local people will benefit from – will be shared as the projects progress.