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It’s child’s play in Oakley

News release 10004, published on 21 Sep 2021
A new imaginative play space for children of all ages is now open in Oakley following a major funding boost from the council and a community fundraising campaign. 

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has installed a range of new exciting and creative play equipment and improved the landscaping at the popular community green space in Kennet Way.

The refurbishment provides a range of play experiences, such as swings, slides, rockers and sensory equipment, as well as a ball chute, zip wire and bespoke ramp for toy cars and balls from home to be played with.

Along with the improvements to the park, the council has also revamped the wider open space, creating a hub for the local community, which includes additional seating to provide a pleasant meeting point for older members of the community and a goal area for informal ball games.

Following a fundraising campaign by the local community which saw the Friends of Kennet Way Park Group raise £25,000, the new park was also funded by £35,000 developer contributions and £25,000 from the council’s Local Infrastructure Fund.

Cabinet Member for the Natural Environment and Climate Improvement Cllr Mark Ruffell said: “Working closely with the local community to bring their vision to life, I am delighted to see the Kennet Way play area transformed for children to enjoy and new seating for people to sit and meet friends, creating a new hub for people in the village.

“The transformation has been a real community effort with the Friends of Kennet Way Park Group a driving force and I would like to thank them for their passion and enthusiasm and the wider community for coming together to raise a huge amount for the project.”

“I’m sure this investment in new equipment and facilities will be enjoyed by future generations and complements the other play areas available for families across the borough to enjoy.”

Kirsty Bowen, Chair of Friends of Kennet Way Park said: “Oakley community is at the heart of this project. We have worked for 4 years, campaigning, fundraising and planning and together with the support from the local schools, businesses and residents of Oakley, we have created a brand new, exciting space for everyone and shown that imagination and hard-work really can take you anywhere. I am beyond excited to see Kennet Way Park open its gates and to watch everyone enjoying the space for years to come.”

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