Volunteers celebrate Ulverston park improvements

Volunteers celebrate Ulverston park improvements

The Friends of Lightburn Park have enjoyed lots of support

A community is celebrating after dedicating four years to improving the play and sports facilities in their local park.

Volunteers say support from South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) has helped them to transform the green space in Ulverston into the vibrant family-friendly place it used to be.

Amanda Smith, Chair of the Friends of Lightburn Park, said: “Working with SLDC we held consultation events to ask the public what changes, improvements and additions they felt were needed to take the park forward.

“Together we then started work on a masterplan, with the Friends of Lightburn Park determined to attract funding to improve areas of the park and upgrade its facilities.”

Since then SLDC has awarded two grants from its Locally Important Projects Fund (LIPs) to enable specific projects in the park to be completed.

Aliyah Stockton and Summer Hill enjoying Lightburn Park

A LIPs payment of £20,000 paid towards access improvements, a new ramp path, gates, re-surfacing of the tennis court and line painting in a new games area.

A separate £20,000 LIPs grant helped to build a sensory garden, raised beds and a herb garden.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader of SLDC, said: “The Friends of Lightburn Park, who are a small group of dedicated people, are to be congratulated for the years of hard work and fund-raising which has resulted in some fabulous new play and sports facilities for their community.

“Working closely with the council, they have received support and encouragement and successfully bid for finance to see their wider vision for the park become a reality.

“This is another example of how LIPs funding allows groups, clubs and organisations such as local town and parish councils to invest in a wide range of excellent initiatives and achieve real results locally.”

Korbyn Stockton – aged three – enjoys the new-look park

SLDC has awarded almost £1.25million in LIPs funding since 2013. This year a further 20 local projects have been awarded a share of £239,000.

LIPs money is allocated through the New Homes Bonus, where government matches the council tax raised on new homes and properties brought back into use.

Meanwhile the Friends of Lightburn Park, who have so far attracted more than £100,000 in funding from a range of sources, say they are not finished yet.

“We were passionate that the park would be used and loved just as much as it used to be and we’ve already seen that happen. We’ve created new areas in the park which didn’t exist and the whole place feels family-friendly.

“We still have things to achieve and so the work and the fund-raising goes on,” added Amanda.

For more details about SLDC’s LIPs funding and eligibility please visit the council’s website: www.southlakeland.gov.uk