A community fun day was held this Saturday to celebrate the opening of the new play area at the Millwood Centre behind Circus Street [May 16]. Local people enjoyed a free barbeque, cakes and canapes and children’s strawberry planting while the newly elected Labour Councillor for Queens Park, Adrian Morris, led a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Said Tommy Tickle, local resident and Chair of the Kingswood & Milner Residents Association, “We want to thank our neighbours and the many organisations who have helped us raise funds and made it possible to improve our outside space in this area of Brighton – it’s stunning!”
The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, added, “It is great to hear that this community-led project is now complete and that everyone had loads of fun on Saturday. Play areas provide vital space where children and young people can meet up, exercise, make new friends and let their imaginations run wild and it is one of priorities to support the creation of new ones.”
Said Karen McCormick, Development Manager for Cathedral Group, who are redeveloping the Circus Street area, “We are delighted that this project has come to fruition so successfully and look forward to working with the local community over the coming months and years as we regenerate the area and build a new community garden along Carlton Row.”
The Millwood Centre serves the Kingswood and Milner estate and the new play area features equipment that offers the maximum potential for fun and adventures for children and young people of all ages. The estate’s residents initiated the project to improve play facilities for local children and to create greener surroundings in this city-centre location.
The new play area features swings, including a basket swing suitable for children with disabilities, spinning bowls, a climbing structure, boulders, and balancing logs. A brightly coloured, patterned safety surface has also been laid, benches have been relocated and new fencing erected. During term time, part of the the play area will be used from 9.00am until 3.00pm by children attending the Puffins Nursery but it will be open to all from 3.00pm onwards and during holidays and weekends.
The project to install the playground cost in the region of £67,000 and was led by Groundwork South. Funding came from The Veolia Environmental Trust, who awarded £39,968 through the Landfill Communities Fund, Circus Street developers Cathedral Group, Puffins Nursery, Brighton and Hove City Council and the Kingswood and Milner Residents Association.
Attractions on the day included The Real Junk Food Project, who supplied cakes and canapes made from ‘intercepted food’, which would otherwise have gone to landfill. Real Junk Food Project Brighton Founder Adam Buckingham said: “I was honored and very proud to be a part of such an important occasion for the community. The whole was a great success and the team thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a pleasure to meet the local residents and set the foundations for what will hopefully be a strong relationship between The Real Junk Food Project Brighton and the community. Having recently hit our crowdfunding target we will shortly begin plans to open a 7 day a week “Pay As You Feel” café in Brighton, which we are very excited about. This will enable us to have a home from which we can feed more people by tackling more food waste on a greater scale.”
Strawberry plants and herbs, donated by Wyevale Garden Centre, were planted in pots decorated by local children and play area planters, bringing some much needed greenery to the space.
The free BBQ was supplied by Sainsbury’s New England store and Morrisons on St James’s Street, and was served up by the infamous Tommy Tickle, who is not only Chair of the tenants association, but also a professional clown. Local charity Care Co-Ops also had a stand at the event for people to find out more and sign up to their free community learning projects.
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