Release Date: 18-May-2012
Children and young people living in Fieldhead, Birstall, are celebrating the opening of a brand new play area - one of the last developments in the multi-million pound regeneration project that has transformed the estate over the last three years.
Pupils celebrate the opening of the new sports zone
The £130,000 sports and activity zone has been developed in a unique partnership between KNH and Fieldhead Junior, Infant & Nursery School, with the school children themselves playing a major role in the project.
The zone has been funded by KNH as part of its investment in play provision and its commitment to activities that help develop strong communities. This commitment is also shared by the school staff and governors, who agreed to the facility being built on their land.
This means the sports zone will be available for the school to use during term time and will be open for community use on evenings, weekends and school holidays. Activities will include football, netball, hockey, tennis and basketball, and it will be floodlit until 8pm during the winter, making it useable throughout the year.
To ensure the zone is well used, KNH has been working closely with the community, school and youth services to get organised groups using it. They have also set up a management group created to monitor the site, as well as a ‘playground champion’ scheme to encourage young people to take responsibility for their new facility.
The building of the sports zone follows almost two years of consultation with the Fieldhead regeneration steering group, tenants, residents and young people. As part of this process, children from the school carried out a video consultation project, where they learned how to use camera equipment and work as a team. They then went round the school asking their fellow pupils what they think of the estate improvements and to get their views on the new sports zone. The resulting video will be available on the KNH website.
Robert Scott, KNH’s Neighbourhood Operations Manager for north Kirklees, said: “It’s fantastic to see the sports zone finished and open for the young people to use. We wouldn’t have been able to build it without the school’s backing, so we’re really grateful to the children, staff and governors for their support.”
According to headteacher, Lianne Lomas, “We are all delighted with the new sports and activities zone and the children are very excited to have such a great space to play in.
“The children tell me that after such a long time without a play space during the building work on the estate, their dreams have come true now they have a floodlit sports zone. They can't wait to join in with organised activities after-school and during the holidays and are dedicated to caring for the space and making sure it is the best place to get fit and have fun!”
Cllr David Sheard, the cabinet member for housing, said: “The new sports and activity zone is a great resource for the whole Fieldhead community, offering people of all ages the chance to get fit, socialise and have fun.
“But it’s also a great example of partnership work, with different services working together in new ways to benefit the wider community, something the Council is keen to do more of in the future, as we look for ways to make the most of our resources.”