Parents launch £100,000 bid to revamp Leeds playground

APPEAL:  Parents and children from the Roundhay Playground Appeal. PIC: Tony Johnson
APPEAL: Parents and children from the Roundhay Playground Appeal. PIC: Tony Johnson
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A group of parents are launching a campaign to raise £100,000 to refurbish a popular play area.

The Roundhay Playground Appeal will hold several fundraising events over the coming months in order to reach the target needed to bring the playground in Roundhay Park, near the Lakeside Cafe, up-to-date.

The £100,000 sum will cover the cost of replacing the current hard floor with a safer, bouncy surface, re-designing the existing layout and re-painting and re-placing some of the equipment.

The appeal will begin its bid with a stall at Oakwood Farmers Market next Saturday and one of the initiatives is personalised badges where people can have their names displayed in the park in return for a donation.

Parent Laura Webb, of Street Lane, Roundhay, has two children aged two and four who are regular visitors to the playground with their friends and other local mothers.

She said: “The equipment is 15 years old at least. It is tired, broken and some bits have been taken out rather than fixed and replaced. It is mainly used by under sevens and the equipment is not suitable and things have moved on.

“There is nothing for children that might have a disability and if you have a toddler there are only really the swings that they can go on.”

The appeal has the backing of the local community after 1,000 survey responses were returned, including 600 in just 24 hours. The Friends of Roundhay Park have been liaising with Leeds City Council over the project since last year as the authority owns the playground facility but reportedly has no allowance for repairs.

Mrs Webb added: “There is no allocation and we have no indication when that will change.

“That is the reason we have taken this on to see if we can make it happen or we could be waiting God knows 
how long.”

TIMESCALES

The parents are aiming to hit the £100,000 target by the end of this summer.

Allowing for tendering and procurement with suppliers, it is hoped the refurbishment would take place early next year. Leeds City council estimates this work will take around four weeks so the playground will be shut during this time. Roundhay Playground Appeal say the timings are entirely dependent on having raised the full sum by end of August as the procurement cannot begin until all funding is secure.

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