Boost to renovation of Landseer Park play area as more funding secured for stage one

Dog walkers in Landseer Park, Ipswich.

Dog walkers in Landseer Park, Ipswich.

A bid to improve Landseer Park in Ipswich has received a welcome boost after it was announced that half the funding for the first stage of redevelopments has already been raised.

The Friends of Landseer Park has so far raised £40,000 towards the £80,000 required to carry out major developments to the play area, thanks to a £20,000 cheque from the Town 102 Kids Trust and a £20,000 pledge from the Ipswich Borough Council south east area committee.

The plans for the play area include installing a diamond climber, an all-weather football pitch and a number of additions to provide better play equipment, with the group having conducted a number of surveys to get residents involved.

More than 70% of respondents to the survey felt that the play area could be improved, with new or improved play equipment coming out as top priority of more than 40 possible developments.

Tara Jones, chair of the Friends of Landseer Park, said: “Five or six companies bid for the opportunity to provide play equipment and we whittled it down to three and then at the events we have been holding the public put forward what they wanted, so the community has been involved in choosing what they want.”

The Friends of Landseer Park have been holding a series of events to get residents and school children involved in the park, including a “seed bombing” session by year one pupils at Piper’s Vale Community Primary School to plant new wildlife, a Jumpers for Goalposts football session and an Easter arts and craft event.

Ms Jones said: “We are all about educating as well and doing things in schools so we don’t have the vandalism in the area.”

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The group is aiming to have raised enough funding to begin stage one later this year, with a second stage set to develop a multi-use games area. Plans for a community centre in future years have also not been ruled out.

Ms Jones added: “At the moment people go to the church or library, but that’s not a cool place for kids to go and hang out. I think we need somewhere anyone can go and we have always talked about the possibility of a community centre.”

Speaking at last month’s Ipswich Borough Council south east area committee, councillor Martin Cook said: “What the Friends have achieved has been fantastic.”

See the Friends of Landseer Park Facebook page for upcoming events.